After the news broke of impending cuts to the feed-in tariff payments for people with solar panels, Friends of the Earth say that it could stop more than 1GW of solar power being installed each year.
A UK Government survey claimed that around 20 jobs are created for every megawatt of domestic rooftop solar power that is installed.
With ministers announcing proposals to cut the amount paid for domestic solar arrays from 12.47p per kilowatt hour to 1.63p for new systems from January 2016, it is feared that 20,000 jobs will be lost.
The 87% fall in the payments has caused outrage at the governments apparent u-turn on supporting renewable energy. The cuts could mean a million renewable installations will be prevented from going ahead over the next five years.
Ministers have insisted that the cuts are necessary to prevent rising green energy payments hitting consumer bills. Friends of the Earth said that the changes could stop more than 1,100 megawatts (1.1 gigawatt) of solar being installed each year to 2021.
A government assessment also suggests that the subsidy scheme for small scale renewables such as solar, known as the “feed in tariffs” has supported jobs and economic growth since the financial crisis.
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: “The government’s ideologically-driven war on solar threatens tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses across the UK.
“Renewable energy has been one of the UK’s few economic bright spots.
“Pulling the plug on an industry that could shortly provide Britain with one of its cheapest and cleanest forms of energy is massive wasted investment.”
Although there is no question that the cuts to the Feed in Tariffs have will have an impact on solar, households are still turning to alternative sources of energy for their heating and electricity.