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Can the Government think long term?

The Government announced this week that it is going to slash the Feed-in Tariff by 50% to 21p/kWh.  The cut is unexpectedly harsh, but then we were told that it would be introduced three and a half months early, which means the cut-off date to receive the higher tariff of 43.3/kWh is only a few weeks away.  This is bad news for homeowners who are getting their funds together and taking their time to consider their options and their installation company.

It’s even worse news for the solar PV companies.  The announcement has caused panic, so much so that some companies – mainly those with enough spare cash – have been busy stock piling panels, railings, inverters and generation meters, leaving many with a full order book and no product.

In one fell swoop, the Government, well Greg Barker, has possibly bought many enterprising young businesses to the brink of extinction.  All for the sake of three and a half months.

Such short term tactics serve no one in reality: it won’t reward savers, it won’t encourage spending, it won’t reinforce a commitment to going green and it won’t motivate SMEs to be enterprising.  How, without doing any of these things, can the Government hope to achieve any economic growth, let alone meet its renewables targets?

The one thing I’m sure of is that the Government can’t do it on its own.  It needs to work as part of a team, with players who know how to make, not lose money.  The Government should spend a little more time talking to SMEs, rather than bankers and newspaper magnates, and get more connected with what is really going on.  There’s no time like the present.  In fact it’s imperative.




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