The amount paid for domestic solar arrays will fall by 87 per cent under the proposals

Solar subsidy cuts threaten 22 000 jobs say activists

More than 20,000 green energy jobs could be lost due to Government plans to slash subsidies for solar panels on homes, say green campaigners.

According to the Energy Department's (Decc) own research, each new megawatt of solar power on domestic roofs supports an estimated 20 jobs and a Government impact assessment suggests the changes could mean almost a million renewable installations not going ahead over the next five years.

Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth said the changes could stop more than 1,100MW of solar being installed each year to 2021, which would mean the reduction in installations could lead to 22,000 job losses.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: "The Government's ideologically driven war on solar threatens tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses across the UK. Renewable energy has been one of the UK's few economic bright spots.

"Pulling the plug on an industry that could shortly provide Britain with one of its cheapest and cleanest forms of energy is massive wasted investment. The UK is now falling behind other countries in developing renewables.

"Rather than subsidising polluting coal power stations and championing fracking, the Prime Minister should be building the clean energy system we so urgently need."

The Government's proposals would cut the amount paid for domestic solar arrays from 12.47p per kilowatt hour to 1.63p for new systems from January 2016 - a fall of 87 per cent - which ministers says is necessary to prevent rising green energy payments hitting consumer bills.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "We're taking urgent action to address the overspend on renewable subsidies and protect bill payers. Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly.

"As costs continue to fall and we move towards sustainable electricity investment, it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies."

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