I think this open letter from Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century to Cameron puts the current situation into clear context:
4 November 2011
The Right Honourable David Cameron MP
Dear Prime Minister
You will recall that five years ago you chose to host your first Shadow Environment team ‘meet the media’ event at Solarcentury. I was very proud to welcome you to the “frontline” of Britain’s then fledgling solar PV industry. Throughout the Conservatives’ period in Opposition we worked tirelessly as a company to assist you in developing a coherent and indeed leading position on “green” issues including proposals for a feed-in tariff.
In the early months of your premiership, again I was very proud to be able to accompany you to India and genuinely welcomed prospects for the “greenest Government ever.” 18 months on after the election, this company has done everything asked of it by your Government. We have invested, innovated, researched, exported, manufactured, supported “Big Society” projects and created jobs winning a Queens Award for Enterprise only last year. But today, surveying the wreckage caused to my company by Monday’s DECC announcement, I have to ask you Prime Minister, where did it all go wrong?
The immediate impact of DECCs unlawful decision on Monday for my own company and the industry is that bad news is hitting us from almost every quarter.
The absurdity of this totally avoidable situation was reinforced yesterday by publication of the Government’s own Impact Assessment on the feed-in tariff changes. Prime Minister, an entire industry is being destroyed inside 6 weeks for the sake of “saving households” a sum of money roughly equivalent to purchasing one copy of the Daily Mail per year. The Impact Assessment published yesterday reveals that the cost of delaying the 12th December deadline to a date consistent with Energy Act procedures can be measured in pennies rather than pounds on average annual household energy bills. That is the true context in which this industry is being told by your Ministers that “there is no alternative.”
I am appealing to you therefore to intervene personally on this issue to safeguard the livelihoods of 25,000 solar staff and to reduce the number of bankruptcies that are set to engulf the industry as a direct result of this decision. Please will you do so? Please will you meet with me and other representatives of this industry as a matter of urgency to thrash out a sensible way forward? I hope you will agree with me that this sector deserves no less.
Jeremy Leggett, Chairman, Solarcentury
Lincs PE10 0FF
Tel: 01778 393331
Mob: 07748 186846