SCOTLAND’S renewables sector is in “crisis” as UK Government cuts force the eco-industry into decline, it has been claimed. Andrew Lyle, founder of Edinburgh-based developer, contractor and consultancy agency Locogen, says his firm has suffered losses as a result of a downturn triggered by Westminster policy. This includes the end of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), a subsidy brought in to incentivise the uptake of small and medium-scale wind, solar and hydro technology. The tariff – which paid out for energy used and any excess which could be exported to the grid – is expected to close to new applicants in April. Industry body Scottish Renewables has called on the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for clarity over the change. But while it considers its position, Lyle, says some Scots firms – particularly those specialising in just one service – now face a battle to survive. The capital firm – which has a French subsidiary – had to cut its own solar team as a result of plummeting demand after significant FiT cuts. Commercial solar panel installations dropped by 97% between 2015 and 2017 as Westminster began to phase FiT out, with an 80% fall in wind installations. And while a shift towards renewable heating could provide major opportunities for the sector, he told The National that lack of Holyrood strategy means Scotland is falling behind England. The comment came as the Scottish Government prepares to open a call for evidence about low-carbon heat in off-gas grid areas, which will take place in the new year.
The National 24th Nov 2018 read more »