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July 25, 2016

STA, PwC survey reveals significant job losses in UK solar industry

Detailed analysis published by the UK-based Solar Trade Association (STA) and professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that there have been significant job losses in the UK solar industry, with more expected in future.

By Lopamudra Roy

Detailed analysis published by the UK-based Solar Trade Association (STA) and professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that there have been significant job losses in the UK solar industry, with more expected in future.

A third of jobs in the sector have been lost in the past year, and another 30% of solar businesses expect to cut down on their staff over the next 12 months.

According to 238 solar companies surveyed by STA and PwC, the total number of people collectively employed has been reduced to 3,665 from the 5,362 recorded a year ago, which shows a sharp decline of 32%.

"The survey shows very regrettable damage to the fabric of the British solar industry and the need for prompt government action."

Solar Trade Association External Affairs head Leonie Greene said: “The survey shows very regrettable damage to the fabric of the British solar industry and the need for prompt government action.

“Shockingly, since we undertook the survey, business investors in solar are set to be hit with a six to eight fold rise in business rates.”

Four out of every ten companies are forced to leave the solar market completely or diversify into other markets.

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PwC Renewables, Assurance head John Dashwood said: “These survey results show there will be a structural shift in the market and solar players need to consider alternative products, services and markets.

“Our report highlights the kind of innovation that can secure a positive future for solar energy in the UK.”

As revealed by the STA survey findings across the UK solar industry, the total number of job losses over the past year could be more than 12,500, which is approximately one third of previous total employment in the solar industry.

This year, the solar installation in the country is expected to reduce from an average of 1GW, over the last five years, to less than 300MW this year, thereby reflecting a 75% sharp decline.

The UK Government is currently allocating only 1% of new renewable energy project expenditure to solar power under the Feed-in Tariff.

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