Subsidy cuts an incentive says Minister

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FURTHER cuts to solar subsidies will allow thousands more people to produce their own energy, Ministers insist.

But the decision has sparked anger from campaigners who claim the move will leave the solar industry “dead in a ditch” putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Energy Minister Greg Barker said the move was necessary because overly-generous subsidies have blown a £1bn budget for the so-called “feed-in tariffs” scheme, which pays people who produce energy through solar panels and recovers the costs through energy bills of homes and businesses.

The Government, which says the cost of installing solar panels has fallen by 45 per cent since 2009, has already been taken to court after halving subsidies, but Mr Barker said the tariff level would fall twice each year to track falling costs of the technology to create a scheme “for the many”, deliver better value for consumers and put solar on course to be a competitive alternative to fossil fuels.

However a spokesman for the Cut Don’t Kill coalition of solar businesses and environmental campaigners said: “The Government’s initial cut to the tariff was brutal, and this further cut will be utterly devastating for the UK solar sector.”