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Gloom as solar work collapses.

A MAJOR drop in solar panel installations since the feed-in tariff debacle is "much worse than expected" according to one Teesside installer.

Worried bosses say plummeting rates, alongside additional barriers such as Energy Performance Certificates will "kill the green economy before it gets started". Revolution Power managing director Wayne Richardson claims he has received more than 100 CVs in the last few weeks from solar PV installers struggling as customers pull their orders.

Figures from DECC showed UK installations for solar photovoltaics (PV) in the middle two weeks of April totaled just 1,611, compared with a December peak of nearly 30,000.

March figures also peaked at 20,000.

The Government moved to reduce the feed-in tariff (FIT) - the return on investment that householders are paid for generating their own renewable energy from PV panels - from 43.3p per kilowatt hour to 21p per kWh from April 1, after the scheme proved overwhelmingly popular.

Mr Richardson said: "We did warn the Government their policies would have a detrimental effect on the industry and potentially cost around 30,000 jobs, but as per usual, this fell on deaf ears.

"We have a number of commercial projects on the go so hopefully this will tide us over."

* See today's nebusiness supplement for more on feed-in tariffs.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 1, 2012
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