Energy Minister admits she's clueless over UK solar job numbers

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 08 Oct 2015 12:47
DECC are unaware of the number of jobs maintained by the Feed-in Tariff
DECC are unaware of the number of jobs maintained by the Feed-in Tariff

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has admitted the Government don’t know how many workers are employed in the UK’s solar industry to meet the demand of the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

In a written answer, the Conservative Minister revealed the Government couldn’t include the impact of proposed subsidy cuts on employments levels because they didn’t actually know the numbers.

The politician confirmed DECC officials were working in the dark and unable to estimate the wage-earning consequences of the cuts in the solar sector as well as across the wider economy.

The astonishing admission was revealed in a letter to Labour MP Ian Lucas and was published on the day one of the UK’s largest solar energy firms announced it had gone into administration with the loss of more than 900 jobs.

Leicester-based Mark Group blamed Government policy changes for a slump in the market that triggered the decision to make 939 staff redundant after calling in the administrators.

When asked by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas for the reasons the Feed-in Tariff review consultation did not consider the effect on levels of employment in the solar sector, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom confirmed her department didn’t know the figures.

She wrote: “Numbers on employment in the sector are not robust enough to show how many jobs are supported directly by the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, and for this reason it has not been possible to quantify with a high degree of confidence the impact of proposed changes on employment levels in the sector or the wider economy.

“We have asked a question in the FIT review consultation about the wider impact of changes.”




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