UK solar co Mark Group collapses with over 900 job losses
Rooftop solar system. Author: Centre for Alternative Technology. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic
UK energy efficiency and solar installation company Mark Group was placed into administration on Wednesday with the loss of 939 jobs.
The Leicester-based company said that this was its only option after the UK government's recent policy announcements made its turnaround plan, which was underway and focused on solar, unviable. The firm put its focus on solar panels after its business was hit by previous government policy changes on energy efficiency.
The UK government has over the recent months announced a series of cuts to support for renewables. The collapse of Mark Group prompted the UK Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) to call on the government to rethink its entire approach to energy policy. "Ministers were warned long before the election of a confidence problem in the sector due to lack of clarity on policy and frankly could have easily prevented this," said SEA chief executive Dave Sowden.
In July this year, Mark was bought by SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) in a move by the US renewables major to establish a direct sales channel in the UK's residential and commercial space. Mark Group said its managers have bought the business from SunEdison on Wednesday morning but after taking advice have decided to put it in into administration. An urgent sale is being sought for the ongoing business, whose staff has now been cut significantly from a pre-administration total of 1,165.
SunEdison itself is in a process of reorganisation as it this week unveiled plans to reduce its global workforce by roughly 15% and focus on "high profit-potential markets." The UK was not listed as such.