Litany of woes over subsidies

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It all started so well.

Back in the day solar panel installers were making good money from generous Government subsidies and a whole industry sprang up almost over night.

A Shade Greener, launched by Stewart Davies in 2010 was one of the stars serving the domestic free installation market. It soon gave birth to Nationwide Solar, which became NWS, wsaserving the commercial market, councils and housing associations.

The return, it was said, was about 10 per cent.

The first sign of trouble came in 2011 when the Government slashed the Feed in Tariff from 43 pkwh to 21p sparking panic.

At the time Stewart Davies was sanguine, his firms were never in it for a quick return.

It appears that since then the Government has made several more changes to subsidy schemes which have resulted in companies across the country running into difficulty or going bust.

In insolvency documents, NWS bosses blame eight changes including:

• Early closure of Government-initiated grant schemes

• Unexpected delays in the introduction of technologies for the Renewable Heat Incentive

• Sudden reduction by the Government in the Feed-in Tariff Scheme payments, reducing by 54 per cent without warning

• Hasty extension of the Energy Company Obligations timetrame

• The Government’s knee-jerk reaction to the immediate disappearance of ECO funding.

• Abrupt closure by the Government of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund

• Recent surprise withholding of Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

* Early closure of Government-Initiated Grant Schemes.