Good Energy chief: new solar farm at risk with change to subsidies

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Renewable energy firm Good Energy has warned a change to the subsidies for large-scale solar farm projects could put hundreds of new developments at risk.

The major green energy supplier fears future projects along the lines of its development in Dorset, where the firm officially opened its first solar farm in the area last month, could be put at risk: despite the hundreds of thousands of pounds already invested in the projects.

Good Energy is worried more than two-thirds, anything between 60-70% or six of its current developments in the pipeline, may face being axed, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Good Energy chief executive, Juliet Davenport, said: "Solar as a technology is looking to decrease its price and be close to subsidy-free by 2020, and at this point it become less political and more market-driven. But we do need to see support continue to that point."

Under a change to the current structure the Government will cut support for solar farms providing more than 5MW of energy from April 2015. Instead, under a method called 'contracts for difference', solar farms will have to bid for subsidies against other renewables such as wind or nuclear.

Ms Davenport has suggested another auction for smaller projects like solar farms should be considered however, as solar farms tend to be much smaller schemes, taking a shorter time to construct than other developments required to harvest other energy types.

She added: "I don't want to be adding additional costs to consumers for support mechanisms, I want to be making sure the cheapest technologies are coming through, and solar potentially offers that."

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