Government under fire as third solar company enters administration

The administrators in charge of the third renewable energy company to go under in the last fortnight have blamed Feed-In-Tariff cuts for its demise.

Southern Solar appointed Jon Beard and John Walters, of Begbies Traynor’s Brighton office, as joint administrators on 14 October, following speculation about the firm’s future.

Last week, two other green energy companies – the Mark Group and Climate Energy - also entered administration.

The former chairman of the Solar Trade Association, Howard Johns, established Southern Solar in 2002.

Mr Beard said recent cuts to the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme as the main reason for the business’s failure.

“It is without doubt that the removal of the Feed-in Tariff subsidy has had a significant impact on the business of the company,” he said.

“Prior to the administration we had been seeking a buyer for the business in the hope that its future could be secured. However, this proved unsuccessful and we have been left with no option but to wind the company down.”

Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy said the news was “another devastating blow to the UK's solar industry”. 

“With the third solar company to go into administration in just one week, it's clear the Government's short-sighted cuts to popular solar energy schemes have plunged this industry into a crisis that could easily have been avoided,” she said.

“Hundreds of skilled workers are being thrown into unemployment because of the Tories mismanagement of clean energy subsidies. Ministers say they're cutting solar support to save households 80 pence from their annual energy bills, but even these savings may be offset by other handouts they’re giving to more expensive energy projects.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues