FIT hitting ‘tipping point’


Solar tipping point

Only months before an estimated 3,000 solar jobs could be lost in the south west, demand for solar energy is so high in Cornwall that the sector is on the verge of “a tipping point” with companies struggling to keep pace with demand from homeowners.

According to one Cornish energy company, the Government’s decision to slash Feed In Tariff (FIT) payments by 87% from January 1 has not only led to installers being inundated with orders but solar panel suppliers are now struggling to keep pace.

The result, says Happy Energy, is a near capacity Cornish market with demand on the verge of outstripping supply.

CEO, Adrian Wright, commented: “Interest in solar has skyrocketed in Cornwall as people look to get panels fitted on their roofs before the feed in tariff payments are slashed by 87% on January 1.

“Just keeping up with demand is becoming a major issue in the market. We have brought in extra installation teams but know of a number of companies that are having to turn solar business away because they have no more installation capacity.

“It’s the type of stampede that the industry could have done without but the Government’s decision has artificially turbo-charged the market in Cornwall to such an extent that anyone wanting to have solar fitted simply cannot afford to wait.”

Estimates by the Solar Trade Association have highlighted that of the 3,800 jobs in the south west created by the solar industry, 3,040 of them could be lost as a result of the Government decision.