A consortium of Machynlleth based businesses and organisations met on Friday 23rd of October with Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire to urge him to show support for the renewable energy industry after a series of announcements from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which could devastate the local economy and lead to the loss of jobs.
On the day that the consultation into the Feed-in-Tariff’s scheme closed Glyn Davies said “ I wholeheartedly support local renewable companies particularly those involved with the solar power sector and am concerned by the loss of jobs in an area like Machynlleth where it has always been difficult to attract other jobs.”
Phil Horton Managing Director of Dulas said “In Dulas alone we risk significant job losses as a result of UK Government decisions, which would have a devastating effect on the local rural economy. These jobs are at risk as a direct result of the Government’s recent and planned changes that impact wind, solar and hydro projects at all scales, including community schemes. There are few alternative opportunities for engineering and consultancy professionals in the area and the majority would be forced to relocate should their jobs be lost.”
A combination of factors including the proposed changes to the Feed-in-Tariff scheme and removal of onshore wind subsidies means that local Mid-Wales renewable companies may be forced to make job cuts and communities will potentially lose out on the community benefit of renewable energy schemes.
Paul Burrell, Director of Anemos Renewables said: “Wind energy is the most commercially viable form of renewables, providing jobs, generating power and revenue and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it should be flourishing yet we are seeing the wholesale dismantling of a promising industry.”
Jon Andrews, Director of Clear Solar said: “There is now clear evidence demonstrating that energy generated from renewable sources is actually driving down the wholesale cost of electricity. I appreciate that the Government is trying to protect consumers pockets by reducing/removing subsidies but I believe this will have the opposite effect in the longer term. The local economy needs these threatened jobs and the UK needs renewable energy.”
Meeting Glyn Davies were representatives from the Centre for Alternative Technology, Dulas, Clear Solar and Anemos. The four entities have a combined annual turnover of 15 million pounds. Across Wales 2203 jobs are at risk if the proposed changes to renewables subsidies go ahead as planned.
Adrian Ramsay CEO of the Centre for Alternative Technology said “Ahead of the climate talks in Paris this December, the UK Government should be showing commitment and leadership in the fight against climate change. A strong renewables industry is central to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing lasting jobs and supporting the local economy.”
The MP said that he expects to discuss the issue with Ministers, Amber Rudd, Andrea Leadsom and Lord Bourne again in the near future.