Boom and bust: Mark Group in administration, US parent Sun Edison blames solar subsidy cuts


solarEnergy efficiency and renewable energy installer Mark Group has been placed in administration after its new owner, US-based Sun Edison, decided to pull the plug on its UK operations and hand the business back to its management team.

Sun Edison cited government policy changes for ditching the firm it acquired less than four months ago.

Up to 1100 jobs could now go at Mark Group, the bulk of which are based in Leicester.

Sun Edison had hinted at the plans in recent weeks, warning that UK policies on solar subsidies could cause the sector to collapse. The government announced steep cuts to small scale generation and export rates in August.

Renewable energy and environmental groups warned that Mark Group’s could be the first of many job losses.

Established in 1974, Mark Group worked with businesses, local authorities and social housing providers as well as domestic customers.

While solar PV subsidy cuts have been blamed for job losses at the company, Mark Group’s business activities include insulation, solar thermal and air source heat pumps. It is understood the company aims to focus on the energy efficiency market if it can successfully exit administration.

That move appears sensible.

The government has hinted at appetite for potential subsidies schemes for energy efficiency.

Last week, in a consultation on business energy taxes, HM Treasury indicated it was “open” to suggestions about how energy efficiency measures could be delivered at lowest cost, with measures potentially including feed-in tariffs (FiTs).

It is hoped lessons from previous Fit programmes will be incorporated into any such schemes.

Updated: Another solar firm, Climate Energy also went into administration yesterday.

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