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British solar player Mark Group collapses
by Daniel J. Graeber
London (UPI) Oct 8, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

To the ire of low-carbon advocates, Mark Group, one of the largest solar panel companies in the British sector, announced it went into administration.

Mark Group announced all of its business affairs were now being managed by partners at Deloitte.

"Regrettably, all appointments have been cancelled for surveys and installations," the solar company said in a statement. "We will be writing to customers shortly."

The company employs about 1,100 people, of which about 90 percent were eliminated because of financial fallout.

Energy measures announced in July by the British government included the removal of guaranteed subsidies for biomass projects and solar projects designed to generate less than 5 megawatts of power.

Government energy policies were criticized earlier this year by advocates for more renewable energy when a new budget statement included tax breaks for North Sea oil and gas operators. British Friends of the Earth said the trajectory was "appalling."

On the announcement from Mark Group, Friends of the Earth campaigner Alasdair Cameron said the energy sector was clearly headed in the wrong direction.

"These huge job losses are likely to be the first of many as government attacks on efforts to build a low-carbon economy begin to bite," he said.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd defended the subsidy cuts by saying keeping consumer bills low was one of her top priorities. Rudd said the costs for renewable energy projects were down "significantly" thanks in part to government support, suggesting the industry could survive on its own.

Dave Sowden, the top executive at the British Sustainable Energy Association, said those in the renewable energy sector were calling on the government to reconsider its energy policy.

"The government's rhetoric on meeting climate change targets, on placing energy efficiency at the heart of energy policy and the effusive support given by ministers for solar, today feels hollow and empty," he said in a statement.

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