UK: Government proposals to drastically speed up the reduction in feed-in-tariffs available for solar power could spell “Armageddon” for the industry, according to a leading renewable energy company.
Most alarming is the news that the FIT rate for domestic Solar PV schemes could plummet as low as 13.6p from July 1 this year.
David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, which has offices across England and Wales, said: “A reduction to a tariff as low as 13.6p in just a few months’ time is the equivalent of Armageddon for the solar industry. There is simply no way that product and installation costs will drop that much in such a short period of time to make such a low tariff rate economically viable.
“Together with a dramatic slashing of FIT rates in July, Ministers are also proposing ongoing six-month reviews, a reduction from 25 to 20 years for the FIT rates being applicable for Solar PV and the removal of RPI-linked payments.
“These cuts and proposals fly in the face of Greg Barkers declared ambition to encourage the installation of 22GW of solar before 2020, with the changes recommended there will be no one willing to buy and no one left to install it.
“Yet again the Government, even with a newly appointed Energy Secretary in Ed Davey, seem happy to watch the solar industry lurch from one crisis to the next.
“It is crucial that Ministers listen properly to the industry this time and ensure that the consultation process on future tariffs is a robust process rather than last time’s sham.
“Rather than looking to encourage consumers to embrace renewable energy technologies, you would think the Government was trying to turn people away from them.”
Hunt added that he was pleased that the Government had relaxed the need for homes to achieve a C grade Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) from April this year, instead confirming that grade D or above would be satisfactory in order to secure the highest FIT rate.