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Updated: Is Sharp Solar reviewing its UK presence?

Sharp Solar could be reviewing its presence in the UK following the announcement of further cuts to the UK feed-in tariff, media say.

By Kari Williamson

In a private briefing document to UK's Prime Minister David Cameron, Sharp Solar is, according to newspaper The Telegraph, “reviewing our presence in the UK.”

The solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer has already reduced its workforce at its £26 million Welsh factory from 1000 to 500 – although Renewable Energy Focus, notes that the European supply base may also be hit by falling prices as well as reduced tariffs across Europe.

Sharp Solar response

In response to the media coverage, Andrew Lee, head of international sales, Sharp Solar, tells Renewable Energy Focus:

“We are genuinely concerned by the Government’s comprehensive review of the feed-in tariff. We are also particularly critical of the 12th December deadline set for the change in tariff as this will have negative connotations for businesses and individuals with plans already in place to install solar PV that are not able to meet this short deadline. This review time frame is unrealistic, and like any good business we have to review our position and our offering in line with market changes. We have written to the Prime Minister to communicate these points.

“However, there are no plans to shut our manufacturing plant in Wrexham. There have been workforce fluctuations at our plant in response to variable demand within the European market. Decisions made by the UK and other European governments do affect our industry and we will continue to monitor the current feed-in-tariff proposals and the potential impact it will have on the UK PV industry.”

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets