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UK PV industry faces the void

Posted on the 07 December, 2009 at 5:15 pm Written by in Government

UK PV industry faces the void as industry fights for more ambitious tariff scheme

Funds for solar photovoltaic (PV) under Phase II of the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) have again run dry leaving large parts of the UK PV industry without support.

2009/12/03 09:00:00 GMT

The LCBP ‘pot’ was meant to carry the industry through until next March and bridge with the new ‘Feed-In’ Tariff scheme, which starts in April 2010.  It is hoped the Tariff scheme will finally provide the long-term support framework that has been missing in the UK.

However, not only has the funding pot been depleted with no notice, the PV industry also has no idea of what support it can expect under the governments Tariff scheme, making it very difficult to plan ahead or win new business.

Ray Noble, PV adviser at REA said; “This development puts the On-site renewables industry in a very difficult position.  On the one hand it’s absolutely right that DECC and the Treasury re-examine the Tariff proposals which are too low. However, the PV industry now urgently needs bridging funds and clarity on the Tariff proposals.  It’s another fine mess for the UK PV industry.”

The REA is calling for a 10% Return on Investment (ROI) for the Tariff scheme for the first three years. DECC’s modelling shows that a 10% ROI delivers three times more renewable energy than current government proposals at an extra cost to households of £1.20 per year up to 2013.

Over 30 major organisations have written to MPs alongside the REA calling for a much more ambitious approach including the Federation of Small Businesses, the TUC, WWF and Friends of the Earth. The REA has written to DECC Ministers and frontbench spokespeople setting out the case for a 10% ROI.