Ten days ago, I highlighted the degree to which the UK is now so profoundly out of kilter with the post-Paris agenda. I really don’t suppose you need any further confirmation of that analysis (as a, no doubt, devoted reader of this blog!), but one has come immediately to hand in the last couple of days which I have to share.

Being a sucker for award schemes, the other great love of my awarding life are the Ashden Awards. Over the last 15 years, there have been 85 winners of an Ashden Award here in the UK. Collectively, they represent the front line of sustainable and community energy schemes – of the whole movement, as it happens – with a combined workforce of more than 4,000 people and an annual turnover of almost £80m.

Since May last year, that front line has been battered by one retrogressive Tory policy after another – particularly in the community energy space. So who better to ask what it actually feels like on that front line nearly nine months on?

Precisely that kind of survey was done over the last few weeks, and the findings are predictably grim. They’re published today.

More than half reported that they had either already lost or expected to lose sales as a result of the policy changes. Nearly 50% stated that there have already been or will soon be redundancies within their organisation, and one in two said that they are now reviewing their business model, including moving away from electricity generation and looking to the rest of Europe for business.

But the hit here isn’t just about jobs, although that’s going to be massively damaging. It’s also about investor confidence and reduced opportunities to raise money from local people and communities as well as from private and public sector sources. And it’s about crushing psychological disempowerment, with hundreds of people, community groups and businesses contemplating years of wasted effort and commitment.

The negative impact of the Government’s policy changes over the last nine months is therefore already being felt, and the pain is clearly going to get a great deal worse. This makes no sense whatsoever. As the rest of the world moves forward on the Paris Agreement, the UK is heading rapidly in the opposite direction – with potentially disastrous consequences for the sector, for jobs and the UK’s entire energy strategy.

The political / ideological volte face as far as David Cameron is concerned is staggering. From ‘Big Society’, with all its fuzzy promise of inclusivity, engagement and neighbourhood planning, to ‘Sod You’ and all your foolish dreams for clean and self-reliant community energy. And all in the transparently dishonest name of ‘helping hard-working families’ in terms of reducing support for renewables and energy efficiency.

Just so sad. Which makes it all the more important for Ashden to get its brilliant success stories out there to inspire communities and entrepreneurs to persevere. Its report (FiT for the 21st Century? A Survey of the Impact of Recent UK Policy Changes on the Sustainable Energy Sector’) includes a series of recommendations for Government for 2016, from introducing new policies and strengthening existing ones on home energy efficiency, to learning from the low-cost finance model pioneered by the Government-owned German bank KfW.

It’s still perfectly possible to get good local schemes off the ground. It’s just so much harder than it needs to be.