'Grant problems threatening green jobs'

Industry leaders have warned that "green" jobs are being threatened because the Government is "fiddling" with the detail of microgeneration.

Industry leaders have warned that "green" jobs are being threatened because the Government is "fiddling" with the detail of microgeneration.

The Micropower Council, the umbrella body of the UK microgeneration industry, complained that grants are no longer available towards the cost of installing solar panels in the public sector and charities.

The group said the grant scheme, known as the low carbon buildings programme, has been plagued with "stop-start problems" since its inception, with demand repeatedly outstripping supply.

Officials added that ministers will now delay until the new year an announcement, originally planned for next week, of funding levels for a longer-term incentive scheme known as Clean Energy Cashback.

Micropower Council chief executive Dave Sowden said: "The combination of the delay to announcing longer term funding levels and the pulling of the rug for this part of the current grants programme is another knock to business and investor confidence and puts jobs directly in jeopardy - the very so-called green jobs that the Government considers so important in helping economic recovery.

"This is yet another example of how the UK, instead of developing a world-beating track record in creating jobs, manufacturing, and leadership in an important new green sector, prefers to fiddle with the detail, not only putting jobs in the green sector at risk, but also undermining its international credibility as a world leader on climate change issues, less than a week before the Copenhagen summit."

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