The Department for Energy and Climate Change opened its consultation on the solar feed-in tariffs in February, following a period of uncertainty and confusion that has affected businesses in the solar energy sector in particular. Many of our winners, such as Solarcentury and Dulas have been vocal on the impact this has had on their businesses and the need for greater clarity to help them go forward.
As the DECC review states:
“In line with the evidence we have seen of reductions in costs associated with solar PV, this document sets out proposals for an ambitious programme of six monthly tariff reductions for solar PV tariffs, with an added deployment trigger to ensure that subsidy levels keep in step with the market.
This builds on the best of the system already operational for the German FITs system. It aims to remove the need for emergency reviews, consistent with our commitment to a stable, predictable future for solar PV and for the whole FITs scheme. It will also help to keep the long-term costs of supporting solar PV down, increasing the number of people able to benefit from FITs over time.
This document also announces a review of export tariffs, and seeks views on whether we should reduce the period for which solar PV tariffs should be applied, from 25 to 20 years.”
Juliet Davenport, CEO of Ashden winner Good Energy commented:
"Overall, this is a step forward. The industry has been asking for more clarity, and the Government has moved to provide that.
"The rate changes proposed for solar PV are a reflection of the well-known problems with the FIT budget and it will take time to fully digest what they mean. The important thing is we now know how tariffs are going to change in future, helping give investors greater certainty.
"It's good that the Government has listened on the level of the proposed energy efficiency standard and tariffs for community sites with multiple installations, such as social housing. Good Energy's research shows that micro-generation actually encourages people to improve the energy performance of their home, so these changes will allow a greater number of people to benefit from that."
Simon Brammer, our UK Programme Manager adds:
“We’re pleased that the Government is providing some clarity now on the way forward with FITs. This will allow investors, installers and community organisations the chance to start planning again. We are particularly pleased that the Government has taken into account the comments regarding community sites, as there are many Ashden Award winning projects being adversely affected by the uncertainly that surrounded this issue.
“We would encourage the Government to learn lessons from the FIT fiasco to ensure that future polices such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and the forthcoming Green Deal are delivered in a far more coherent, long-term and transparent way.”
For those who would like to contribute, the consultation closes on 3 April 2012. The consultation on non-solar feed-in tariffs (wind, hydro, micro CHP and anaerobic digestion) ends 23 April 2012.