Solar Eclipsed as Subsides Slashed

Solar copy

Guido highlighted back in January that the government’s tapering of subsidies for renenwables could potentially see the death of subsidy junkies in five years. Solar looks to be the first to take the plunge…

The Guardian reports that the solar panels industry has collapsed in the wake of subsidy withdrawal. In fact, household solar power capacity installed in the past two months has undergone a 75% decrease, a lot more than was expected following the 65% cut in government incentives for householders to install panels. This is the renewable industry’s problem: It needs shed-loads of taxpayer cash to survive, and when the subsidies are taken away it goes to the wall…

Stunt to Save Solar Subsidy Falls Flat

The Trillion Fund, an organisation that aims to “open up opportunities to profit from clean energy” has released a video aiming to convince the public to keep the Feed-in tariffs that force the taxpayer to subsidise solar panels. It’s terrible…

“In 2014, Britain led solar expansion in Europe. Now the government want to slash the support that made that possible – Feed-in tariffs or ‘FITs’. 27,000 jobs, countless community projects, and our place in the solar technology race are at stake.”

If that doesn’t convince Rudd to stick to her guns, nothing will…

Solar Subsidy Spongers Pull Out of UK


Professional subsidy-spongers SunEdison have announced that they are pulling out of the UK, citing Amber Rudd’s plans to stop propping up small scale solar projects. SunEdison describe themselves as the “largest global energy renewable development company” and claim to have invested £400 million in the UK. They operate by offering to install solar panels on residential rooftops for free, then siphoning off the tax payer funded subsidies.

SunEdison tempt customers with the slogan: “Sunlight is free. Imagine if going solar were, too.” Turns out it’s not…

BBC Helps Plug Big Solar


Listeners to the Today programme this morning were treated to the chair of the “Carbon Tracker Initiative” Jeremy Leggett “slamming the meagre investment in renewable energy being made by energy companies. Apparently if they don’t do more, there will be starvation, droughts, floods and other “horrors”…

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“They’re [the big oil companies] setting up of a study to find out whether you know, we can have 50% renewable in the electricity mix by 2050. Well, you know, that’s completely inadequate. That will give us a world of four degree Celsius, way above the danger ceiling of two degree Celsius for global warming. A world in which you know, we’d be finding it difficult to feed ourselves or have enough drinking water amid all the droughts and floods and wildfires and all the other horrors.”

Oddly, what James Naughtie failed to mention is that Jeremy Leggett is the founder and non-executive chairman of Solarcentury, one of the UK’s largest solar companies. Some sunlight should have been shone on his vested interest…

CBI Beg For Solar Cash


The CBI have launched an all-out assault on Amber Rudd’s plans to cut green crap this morning, with their director General John Cridland briefing the newspapers that the cuts will send a “worrying signal” to business. He sounds a bit like a Greenpeace spokesman…

“The green economy is an emerging market in its own right, brimming with opportunity… Yet, with the roll-back of renewables policies and the mixed messages on energy efficiency, the government risks sending a worrying signal to businesses… We need all countries to pull in the same direction at the Paris Climate Summit (in November) to give firms the certainty and confidence they need to invest in the green economy for the long run”.

What is it about businesses with guaranteed government backed revenue that the big biz Brexit scaremongers at the CBI like so much?

Rudd’s Solar Subsidy Slashing Plans Under Threat

amber rudd axe

Amber Rudd has hinted that she may be forced to back-peddle on her excellent plan to slash solar subsidies, telling the Commons today that it was “too early to say what the outcome of the consultation will be” and that she was “determined to identify the right level of solar subsidies to continue growth”. Rudd’s carefully worded caveats were made as she took oral questions for the first time since DECC announced it was consulting on plans to cut solar subsidies by 87%.

Rudd and Minister of State Andrea Leadsom are coming under sustained pressure over their subsidy plans. They faced kickback from all sides of the chamber today, while yesterday they received criticism from Boris.  Stick in there Amber…

At Last! Rudd Slashes Solar Subsidies


Fresh from pulling the plug on onshore wind subsidies, the surprisingly sound Amber Rudd is preparing to do the same to small scale solar farms. DECC are consulting on plans that would slash subsidies for new solar projects below 5MW on the grounds that falling costs are causing more solar farms to be built than they have the budget to pay for. At the current rate DECC could be on the hook for £9.2 billion in renewable subsidies by 2021 – £1.5 billion more than they’ve allocated. Turns out taking free cash is popular among landowners…

Rudd took to airwaves this morning to defend her cost cutting:

“We can’t have a situation where industry has a blank cheque, and that cheque is paid for by people’s bills… we can’t have a system, which we’ve had up to now, where there is basically unlimited [subsidy] headroom for new renewables, including solar.”

Even after this cut, the green crap bill is still in the billions…

Rapper Akon’s Epic Greenwash Stunt

akon headlines

In what has to be one of the most successful PR stunts in green-wash history, the people representing rap artist Akon have managed to convince half the world’s media that the “Smack That” singer is about to bring solar power to no less than 600 million people in Africa. That would mean bringing power to every single person without power in the whole of Africa..

The PR drive coincides with the launch of the opening by the “Akon Lighting Africa” intiative of a  “Solar Academy” in Mali which will train engineers in the skills needed to develop solar power across the African continent. Akon’s solar initiative invests an average of $75,000 to bring solar power to one village. By Gaia’s calculation it would cost around $98,468,250,000 to rollout solar at that cost through the rest of the continent. Gaia wishes “Akon Lighting Africa” the best of luck…

The Emperor’s New Solar Panels


The largest solar panel company in China, Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, which lost half of its value last week, might not have even been making solar panels. HTF lost $18.6 billion in frantic trading last Wednesday, burning index-tracking stock funds in its wake and ‘losing’ its chairman and majority chair man Li Hejun $15 billion. Li shorted HTF by 796 million shares two days before the stock crashed…

According to hedge fund manager John Hempton, who visited Hanergy’s main Chinese factory last month, the vast complex appeared to be pretty much empty.

“It was almost entirely silent. There was essentially no production of solar cells at all and the accounts that suggest significant production and sales are entirely fraudulent.”

Brilliantly, the demonstration solar panels set up outside the factory were oriented away from the sun…

Greedy Solar Industry Wants More Public Cash


Good news for renewable energy lovers! The artificial demand for solar panels brought on by government subsidy has caused the price of solar panels to crash by 70%. In fact China’s factories have been so successful at driving down prices that the government has decided it no longer needs to subsidise ‘big solar.’

For some reason the story is being spun by the Solar Trades Association as a blow for the renewable energy market, with their spokesman telling the BBCThe government’s decision to pull out subsidies is an own goal – it will delay the moment when solar can compete with fossil fuels.”

The government kick-starts the market for them and yet still they grovel for tax-payers cash…

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