A blog post

Huhne takes action on “solar farm” threat

Posted on the 07 February, 2011 at 12:36 pm Written by in Blog, Finance, Government, Standards

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has today launched a comprehensive review of the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) scheme following growing evidence that large scale solar farms could soak up money intended to help homes, communities and small businesses generate their own electricity.

Chris Huhne said:

“The renewables industry is a vital piece in the green growth jigsaw and this review will provide long term certainty while making sure homes, communities and small firms are encouraged to produce their own green electricity.

“Large scale solar installations weren’t anticipated under the FITs scheme we inherited and I’m concerned this could mean that money meant for people who want to produce their own green electricity has the potential to be directed towards large scale commercial solar projects.”

The comprehensive FITs review will:

  • Assess all aspects of the scheme including tariff levels, administration and eligibility of technologies;
  • Be completed by the end of the year, with tariffs remaining unchanged until April 2012 (unless the review reveals a need for greater urgency);
  • Fast track consideration of large scale solar projects (over 50kW) with a view to making any resulting changes to tariffs as soon as practical, subject to consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny as required by the Energy Act 2008.

The Government will not act retrospectively and any changes to generation tariffs implemented as a result of the review will only affect new entrants into the FITs scheme. Installations which are already accredited for FITs at the time will not be affected.

David Houston, Managing Director of nationwide solar energy installers PV FIT Ltd, responded to todays announcement:

“The looming threat of a large number of Megawatt scale solar farm projects threatened to trigger an early review of feed in tariff levels. It would be a tragedy if a small number of large scale projects, absorbing huge chunks from the FIT pot, meant that home and business owners new to the scheme were hit with lower tariff levels which could threaten future take up of renewables”.

“The FIT scheme was designed to reduce energy consumption and improve energy security in buildings, not fields or line pockets of a small number of investors. Saying this we do believe there is a place for larger scale solar installations if feeding industrial/commercial premises with high energy consumption. We sincerely hope the Government use this as an opportunity to improve the scheme, rather than an excuse to reduce tariff levels for those new to the scheme before April 2012″.

If you were considering a solar PV installation now is probably the best time to seriously consider proceeding with an installation. PV FIT offer free solar survey over the phone, usually taking less than 20 minutes, and will send you a fixed priced quotation same day. Call us today on 0844 567 9032.