Moves to cut subsidies for fitting solar panels on homes were halted by ministers today following warnings that the planned reductions threatened Britain’s hopes of hitting targets for renewable energy production.
Ministers halved subsidies for feed-in tariffs last year and were due to implement another cut in July.
The Independent disclosed this month that senior figures in the solar energy industry warned they faced a crisis which jeopardised thousands of jobs as a result of the tariff reductions. They wrote to David Cameron urging a rethink, saying demand for panels had collapsed over the last year.
The July reduction has been halted at the last moment by Greg Barker, the Climate Change minister.
He wrote on Twitter: "Having listened carefully to industry, we are looking at scope for pushing back a little the next proposed reduction in the solar tariffs.”
The Cut Don’t Kill campaign, backed by 400 solar industry executives, welcomed the surprise step.
But its spokesman, Howard Johns, said: "This freeze needs to be genuine and not cosmetic. Any further cuts to solar tariffs should not take place until at least October.
"After the policy shambles of the past six months, the solar industry needs adequate time to get back on its feet."