Warning over solar subsidy cuts

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Sonya Bedford

Government proposals to cut subsidies to large solar farms could be extremely detrimental for the south west, according to one of the region’s leading renewable energy lawyers.

Sonya Bedford
Sonya Bedford

In a move which would end the current system two years early, the proposal is to force owners of solar power installations which are larger than 5 megawatts to compete with other renewable energy technologies for financing.

Sonya Bedford, a partner and head of renewable energy at Stephens Scown LLP, said: “This could be potentially devastating for the West Country. With the highest irradiation levels in the UK, many solar developers have chosen to invest here, creating jobs and boosting our economy at a time when some other sectors have been struggling.

“Solar is one of the most popular renewable energy technologies and government support has meant that prices have been consistently coming down. If it is introduced, this change could result in solar going up in price, reducing competition and ultimately costing the consumer more.

“Investors will be reading this news and questioning whether they should be choosing to invest in UK solar. That is bad news for the economy as a whole.”

More information on the proposals is available on the DECC website.