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Wasting Millions: Solar ‘Entrepreneurs’ To Get Compensation

The Government is poised to give ‘solar entrepreneurs’ millions of pounds in compensation for spending their own money on solar farm projects which have had to be cancelled as a result of a policy u-turn.

It is understood that some potential ‘solar farmers’ have already been in talks with officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

A DECC official said that the issue of compensation was being discussed, but no final decision had been made.

The revelation that the Government is looking at compensation schemes comes as the Renewable Energy Association reveals the results of an exclusive survey of its members for This is Money’s sister title, Financial Mail.

The survey shows that dozens of entrepreneurs have lost nearly three million pounds on preparing for projects that have now had to be cancelled because of the change in Government policy.

DECC is aware that unless it agrees some kind of compensation more than a dozen solar companies have ganged together with the intention of taking legal action against the government.

The industry is in uproar because they were encouraged by the Conservatives, when they were in opposition and by the government to help combat green house gases by investing in solar energy.

As an inducement the government agreed generous feed in tariffs (the rate at which the National Grid is willing to buy solar power )for solar projects. It also made it clear that there would be a review of the scheme in 2013.

But within months of the Coalition government coming to power, the DECC has decided slash the rates for solar projects allowing generous tariffs for only small projects like solar panels on individual roofs rather than fields of them.

DECC argued that the scheme was designed for small solar projects, not commercial projects like solar farms.

Already the government has cancelled its own flagship solar energy project as a result of its own policy change. It was planning to fit solar panels across the entire government estate.

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