Feed-In Tariff changes no surprise

Well, we’ve been waiting a while, but today the Government revealed the result of its consultation to change Feed-in Tariffs for solar PV installations larger that 50 kilowatts.

And the result was perhaps a foregone conclusion – there isn’t enough money to support the demand for the subsidy. Left at the current level, the scheme would have been inundated with requests for funding for large scale projects, leaving nothing in the pot for schemes in homes, communities and small business.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker today said that the new tariffs – chopped to 19p for 50-150kW, 15p for 150-250kW and 8.5p for the 250kW-5MW scheme – would see a “sustained growth path” for the solar industry.

He said it would protect money for householders, small businesses and communities.

It is sure to be an extremely unpopular decision with those who have been planning large scale schemes, and indeed many businesses have already invested huge amounts of private finance in order to take advantage of the FITS.

We at Organic Energy, a UK-wide distributor of Schott Solar PV systems, are pleased to see the Government will not act retrospectively and the reductions will only affect new entrants into the FITs scheme from August this year.

And it is good to see that solar schemes under 50kW are unaffected by the review.

But isn’t it about time that the Government caught up with what the renewables industry has been saying for a long time – that this is a fast-growing industry with huge potential.

A potential which has been underestimated by the bean counters, as clearly shown by today’s announcement. We’d love to hear your thoughts…

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