• 20 mins Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 1 hour VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 2 hours Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 hours Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 hours OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 20 hours U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 22 hours Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 24 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 1 day EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 1 day Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 1 day Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 4 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 4 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 4 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 4 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 5 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 5 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 5 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 5 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 5 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 5 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 5 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 6 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 6 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 6 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 6 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 6 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 6 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 7 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 7 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 7 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 7 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
Saudi Arabia Looks To Shelve Aramco IPO

Saudi Arabia Looks To Shelve Aramco IPO

Saudi sources have confirmed that…

Oil Prices Poised To Rise In Early 2018

Oil Prices Poised To Rise In Early 2018

A consistent fall in comparative…

UK Energy Subsidy Cuts Claim First Victim

 The decision by Britain’s Conservative government to cut subsidies supporting renewable energy has thrown at least one British company into bankruptcy, forcing it to lay off its 939 employees.

Since March, the U.S. company SunEdison Inc. had been paying the Mark Group Ltd. of Britain to install solar panels on customers’ roofs for free in exchange for a share in the customers’ savings from government-subsidized energy bills.

In August, however, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government said it was reducing these subsidies by up to 87 percent. At the time, it noted that about 700,000 British homes had solar power and that the solar power industry didn’t need any further help from London. That means an end to the free solar panels.

Related: Decoding Saudi Arabia’s Strategy In Its Oil Price War

SunEdison of Maryland Heights, Mo., bought Mark Group in July with the aim of shifting its operations from building insulation to solar panels. But once it became clear that the installation program would end, Mark Group’s management bought the company back on Oct. 7.

A company spokesman said in an email that the company made the “regrettable decision to put the business into administration” – Britain’s equivalent of what is known in the United States as Chapter 11 bankruptcy. “This decision has not been taken lightly,” the email said, “but the ongoing losses of the business meant it was our only option.”

SunEdison said in a statement that it is “extremely disappointed that the draconian policy proposals made by the government” will “essentially eliminate the solar” market in Britain. That may be an exaggeration, but SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila said it certainly will severely limit or end his company’s operations there.

Related: LNG Bust Could Last For Years

Chatila told investors that the company would “de-emphasize or exit” the UK and several other countries, and shift its focus to operations in China, India, Latin America and the United States.

There is little question that the subsidies were persuasive for electricity customers, of whom virtually none were using solar power as recently as five years ago. In fact, SunEdison says that thanks to the subsidies, it had installed about 1,000 free solar panels at customers’ homes. Not only did the recipients get the panels for free, but saw savings of up to 25 percent on their energy bills.

One customer, Chris Over of Dinedor in western England, told The New York Times that he never would have spent the $9,200 to buy and install a solar panel on the roof of his house, but he eagerly accepted SunEdison’s offer because it was cost-free. “It was something that was always in the back of my mind, but I wouldn’t have spent the money,” he said.

Related: Can The Panama Canal Fulfill Its Global LNG Promise?

No one should expect a change in the policy on subsidies as long as the Conservatives run Britain’s government. On Oct. 5, addressing the party’s conference in Manchester, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd reaffirmed the Tories’ support for the cuts, saying there was “no magic money tree” to support such spending.

Rudd said solar energy in particular has done so well in recent years that it can “stand on its own two feet.”

“I support cutting subsidies,” Rudd said, “not because I am an anti-green Conservative, but because I am a proud green Conservative on the side of the consumer. We must be tough on subsidies. Only then can we deliver the change we need.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News