New figures show that some of the UK’s biggest solar farms receive more money through green subsidies than they get from selling electricity.
Energy producers were granted generous subsidies, through a ‘green levy’ funded by taxpayers, but many of them now earn more money from these handouts than selling the electricity they produce.
The total amount of money paid by taxpayers to fund solar energy generators is estimated at £1.2 billion over 2017 – part of a £5.6 billion subsidy paid to renewable energy producers, which has been criticised for inflating consumer energy bills.
Figures from a Freedom of Information request by The Daily Mail on the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) shows that ten of the biggest solar farms in the UK received over £2.5 million each from the levy.
The Autumn Budget revealed the government will not introduce any new “green taxes” until 2025 in order to protect consumers from rising energy bills.
However, the current scheme, which guarantees subsidies for 15 or 20 years, has been argued to be too generous and will continue to pay recipients until the end of the contracts signed.
Dr Lee Moroney, of the Renewable Energy Foundation charity, said: ‘The legacy subsidies are themselves so high … that Government must consider retrospective cuts to reduce what is an unreasonable burden on the consumer and the wider economy.’