A third of the jobs in the UK’s solar power industry have been lost in the past year since the UK Government cut subsidies, according to a new report.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) and accountancy firm PwC found that a further 30% of solar companies expect to make staff redundant over the coming 12 months.

The 238 companies that took part in the survey said they collectively employed 3,665 people now compared to 5,362 a year ago, a fall of 32%, with four-in-ten firms either leaving the solar market or diversifying in order to survive.

Extrapolating the survey findings across the UK solar industry, the figure for job losses over the past year could exceed 12,500, the STA said.
The amount of solar power capacity deployed is expected to fall to less than 300MW this year from an average of 1GW over the past five years, a 75% drop.

Proposed business rates hike

Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the STA, said: “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.

“We urge new ministers, rather than increase the tax burden of going solar, please reward investment with sensible solar tax breaks consistent with action on climate change.

“International experience of tax breaks is solid, and the industry is clearly behind this.”

> Download the report