Mark Group collapse renews call for policy rethink

Industry leaders have renewed their call for the government to backtrack on proposals to cut the Feed-in Tariff as two major renewable energy installers enter administration.

Both Mark Group and Climate Energy have entered administration in the past 48 hours, whilst SunEdison has reportedly indicated that it will exit the UK market.

Leicester-based Mark Group has made 900 redundancies, blaming the move on the prospects of an 87 percent cut to the Feed-in Tariff from January, subject to government consultation. The insulation side of its business had already taken a knock earlier this year following the government’s abandonment of Green Deal.

Both the SEA and STA point to the need to urgently fill a ‘policy vacuum’ to instil confidence in the PV and energy efficiency markets, and avoid further job losses.

“This is disastrous new for the thousand or so employees that have left Mark Group buildings to tell their families they no longer have a job,” said Dave Sowden, SEA chief executive.

“Ministers were warned long before the election of a confidence problem in the sector due to lack of clarity on policy and frankly could have prevented this.

“There can be no stronger case for quickly filling the policy vacuum in all these areas affecting energy measures in buildings and we call on the government to urgently agree to a new energy white paper that properly places buildings at the heart of energy policy.”

Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association, added: “This is terrible news for the UK solar industry. Mark Group going into administration will also cause serious knock on effects in the supply chain.

“Jobs matter, and there are 27,000 at stake. We are preparing alternative solutions and will be working with decision makers to discuss our alternative proposal for more structured, steady and workable reductions to support.”