Since then, 4.4 GW of renewable power was installed on Feed in Tariffs in the UK, most of which came from photovolatic installations.
Life was good for the solar pioneers of the United Kingdom.
After 2014, however, the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) policy took shape and drastically cut those subsidies in favor of centralized, traditional forms of energy.
According to Ilias Tsagas at PV Magazine, "based on the EMR, all electricity investments are publicly subsidized: the fossil-fuel sectors receive subsidies via the capacity market and the renewable energy sector via the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) scheme."
This was the beginning of the end of the brief Solar Golden Age in the UK.
"The implementation of the EMR in the last two years has shown the government is not interested in renewable power development," says Tsagas. "It has run only a CfDs auction dedicating a fraction of funding compared to the capacity market, while in addition it is about to support the building of a nuclear power plant, further supporting the centralized energy system of the past."
Since then over half of the industry's workforce has been cut, amounting to 18,000 lost jobs, according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).
In addition, the referendum frees the UK government from EU standards, which includes any obligation to meet the EU-set renewable energy targets.
A professor of international energy and climate change policy at University College London, Michael Grubb, was quoted as saying that it wasn’t clear yet if the UK’s solar sector would settle into a slower growth rate or tank completely.
“Solar has benefited from extraordinarily generous subsidies and no one — including me — expected to see such incredible growth rates. It has been quite seismic for a country that was getting a smidgen of power from renewables only a few years ago. But the cutbacks (in subsidies) have been dramatic and quick.” (Source: CleanTechnica)