Just received an urgent message from a colleague at Homesun – one of the biggest free solar companies – showing that the Government is about to change it’s policy again and on even tougher deadline than previously expected. The Energy Saving trust accidentally revealed on Friday the change that the Government is set to announce this coming week. Basically feed in tariffs are being slashed to 21p a unit in perhaps just 4 weeks time. This 4 months quicker than expected and 7p less subsidy originally suggested.

So if you’ve two minutes, please add your name to the petition now.

The full back ground is as follows:

Energy Saving Trust on Friday mistakenly posted a document 2days too early on their website – revealing Greg Barker’s proposals for The Feed in Tariff subsidy for renewable microgeneration (eg solar for homes).

21p subsidy for installations completed by 8th December.  The Market was expecting – and could cope with – 30p from April 2012. It takes 4weeks minimum to get thro the process of install so 8th december is today.  But businesses have stock (mostly 3 months worth or committed orders) and there won’t be demand at 21p. So those businesses will go bankrupt.

Why will demand die?  50% of the residential market is residential and 50% free solar for social housing and others that can’t afford to buy. At 21p, it’s a 4.5% return over 25 years but it will take 14 years to break even.  The average person has 1.6k savings and median length in a house of 8years.  So the economics of buying solar work for only a small number of eco conscious wealthy people.

Free solar.  This model doesn’t survive on anything less than 28p.  So solar becomes socially regressive again – and people who really need to save money on their bills completely loose out. So demand dries up and The impact  for business is immediate.  Everyone has to start shedding jobs before Xmas and businesses go bankrupt.

I thought I was living Big Society – green enterprise born out of government policy, creating jobs, bringing benefits to homeowners, creating buzz locally as people got together to create solar streets and negotiate as one. It is collapsing, and it is madness.  The FIT cost £2.20 per home per year, and generate multiple benefit.

Of course, the Government is yet again responding to the scaremongering commonly found in the likes of the Daily Mail. A Mail recent piece tried to suggest that feed-in-tariffs were one of the key reasons why fuel bills were going up. The Government claims to be green with a sustainability agenda but seems swayed by poor science and poor editorial.

Just in case you can’t bear to read the Daily Mail here is a choice extract:

Not only is much of the science behind the idea of global warming now being disputed but, at a time of such widespread economic hardship, we simply cannot afford to misdirect scarce economic resources on such a massive scale. Britain needs jobs, it needs industry.

Britain needs jobs and industry? So why do we want to drive the emerging solar sector out of business before it has even had chance to get established?