Plans to make the Feed-In Tariff scheme ‘more transparent’ and more predictable for the future, were announced today by the government. At the heart of the new initiative are said to be ‘transparency, longevity and certainty.’
Reforms to the scheme were said to ‘provide greater confidence to consumers and industry investing in exciting renewable technologies such as solar power, anaerobic digestion, micro-CHP, wind and hydro power.’
The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme provided a subsidy, paid for by all consumers through their energy bills, enabling small scale renewable and low carbon technologies to compete against higher carbon forms of electricity generation.
The announcement claims: “The surge of solar PV installations in the latter part of last year, due to a 45% reduction in estimated installation costs since 2009, has placed a huge strain on the FITs budget.”
Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, said: “We are announcing plans to improve the Feed-in Tariffs scheme. Instead of a scheme for the few, the new improved scheme will deliver for the many.
“Our new plans will see almost two and a half times more installations than originally projected by 2015 which is good news for the sustainable growth of the industry. We are proposing a more predictable and transparent scheme as the costs of technologies fall, ensuring a long term, predictable rate of return that will closely track changes in prices and deployment.
“I want to see a bright and vibrant future for small scale renewables in the UK and allow each of the technologies to reach their potential where they can get to a point where they can stand on their own two feet without the need for subsidy sooner rather than later.”
One criteria is that a tariff of 21p/kWh will take effect from 1 April this year for domestic-size solar panels with an eligibility date on or after 3 March 2012. Other tariff reductions apply for larger installations.
The government documents published today can be found at:
- Response to FITs Phase I consultation
- Comprehensive Review of Feed-in Tariffs – Phase 2A: Solar PV cost control (consultation closes on 3rd April)
- Comprehensive Review Phase 2B: Consultation on Feed-in Tariffs – Non-PV tariffs and scheme administration issues (consultation closes on 26th April)
The National Home Improvement Council remains somewhat sceptical about the true value of the government’s new Feed-In Tariff initiative as it continues to delay the real progress of the renewable industry’s contribution to reducing the UK housing stock’s vast carbon footprint!