Renewable Energy

Solar industry facing “absurd” tax increase

With solar quickly becoming the fastest form of electricity generation, a 800 per cent tax increase planned by Chancellor Richard Hammond is set to remain in place after skirting over the issue with silence at yesterday’s budget.

This means that businesses and state schools will face an unprecedented tax hike that includes 44,000 microgenerators.

Only last year the industry lost 12,000 jobs and faced an 85 per cent reduction in the deployment of rooftop schemes.

Paul Barwell of the Solar Trade Association said:

We are dismayed that responsible organisations that use their own rooftop solar are still facing an extreme business rate rise of up to 800% from April.

“Some fossil fuel technologies are already exempt from business rates, and today the Chancellor again took special care of oil and gas.

“It is surprising that the Treasury’s tax policies tend to yesterday’s technologies while putting clean, modern solar at a competitive disadvantage. The Chancellor says he wants the UK at the “cutting edge of the global economy”- his tax policies for energy risk the opposite.”

The Solar Trade Association has been pressing the government to drop the rates for nearly a year and states that it will continue to oppose the rise and will look to Parliament to support corrective action.

Continuing, Barwell said that:

Government continues to cherry pick more expensive technologies while shutting solar out of competitive auctions, even as its industrial strategy prioritises cheap power. This means business and consumers pay over the odds for decarbonisation, and competitive pressure is weak.

“Suppressing solar in the UK is no way to ‘prepare for a global future’. Solar already dominates clean energy investment globally and it is expected to expand dramatically. It is also set to be the cheapest source of power in the world so countries that embrace solar will have a competitive advantage.”

Other decisions not directly related to the industry shall also affect renewable energy, such as the price levied on carbon emissions by large companies after Brexit.

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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