Comprehensive FiT review

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the comprehensive review phase 1: consultation on Feed-in Tariffs for solar PV on 31 October 2011.  To read the full consultation, click here to view the consultation on the DECC website

22 December 2011: Regen SW submits consultation response
To read Regen SW's press release about its consultation response click here.

21 December 2011: High Court ruling declares FiT consultation unlawful
To read Regen SW's press release about the High Court ruling click here.

9 December 2011: Report on The Big Society and renewables: 5 measures for delivery
On 9 December 2011, Regen SW published a report by Jonathan Johns, Climatechangematters which includes proposals on how community energy projects are treated under the FiT. Click here to read the press release and report.

6 December 2011: Report from Regen SW on the Benefits of Microgeneration and the Feed-in Tariff
Regen SW published a report on 6 December 2011 on the benefits of microgeneration and the Feed-in Tariff. It includes recommendations for government in response to the comprehensive review phase 1. These are:

  • Clear political backing and a transparent long-term approach to support for microgeneration, across all technologies should be provided.
  • The fixed cap on the cost of the Feed-in Tariff should be replaced by a transparent policy, to reduce tariffs in line with price falls to protect public expenditure whilst giving clarity needed for the industry to invest.
  • The introduction of energy efficiency requirements to the Feed-in Tariff scheme should be kept simple and flexible.
  • A premium Feed-in Tariff for community energy projects should be introduced.

To read Regen's press release and download the report click here.

Proposed changes
The  fast-track review of the FIT for PV proposes changes to tariffs due to come into force for installations completed and registered on or after 12 December 2011. Installations completed and registered on or after this date will receive the current rates up until the 31st March and then will be subject to the reduced new rates from 1st April 2012 (See High Court Ruling detail above). Installations after 31st March 2012 will start off at the lower rate and potentially be subject to caveats to receive the tariff. This could include reaching an Energy Performance Certificate level of C or taking up all the measures potentially eligible for Green Deal finance, depending on the outcome of the consultation. As a transitional arrangement, installations with eligibility dates between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 would have 12 months from the eligibility date to comply with the energy efficiency requirement.

The eligibility date of a project is based on it being commissioned (in working order) and having its request for accreditation received by a FIT licensee (schemes up to 50kW) or Ofgem (more than 50kW).

The consultation also proposes changes for multi sites and community schemes:

  • There will be new multi-installation tariff rates for aggregated solar PV schemes, i.e. where a single individual or organisation owns or receives FITs payments from more than one PV installation, located on different sites. The new tariff rates would apply to all new PV installations that are part of an aggregated PV scheme and have an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012. The new tariffs are set at 80% of the standard tariffs for individual installations.
  • The Government will also, as part of its review into the FITs scheme, consider whether more could be done to enable genuine community projects to be able to fully benefit from FITs and whether, for example, a definition of community scheme is required and if so, how this should be defined.

The proposed new tariff rates under FiT are:
 

Band (kW) Pre 12 December 2011 (p/kWh)  Proposed generation tariff (p/kWh)
≤4kW (new build) 37.8  21.0
≤4kW (retrofit) 43.3 21.0
>4-10kW 37.8  16.8
>10-50kW 32.9 15.2
>50-100kW 19  12.9
>100-150kW 19  12.9
>150-250kW  15  12.9
>250kW-5MW  8.5  8.5*
stand alone  8.5  8.5*

*These are the current tariffs, which government is not proposing changing and which, like all other current tariffs, will be adjusted in line with the Retail Price Index from 1 April 2012

Lobbying
Regen SW will be making a strong case to government on the damage bringing forward changes from 31 March 2012 will inflict. The most effective way you can support this is by writing to your MP. Template letters are available to download below – If you use the template, please take the time to tailor this with specific information relating to the impacts on you. Please encourage your colleagues and if appropriate your customers to write letters too. To find your MP’s name and address click here.

The Solar Trade Association are also leading an active campaign. Visit www.oursolarfuture.org.uk for details.

Regen SW has submitted a response to the consultation based on its report The Benefits of Microgeneration and the Feed-in Tariff (see above).

 

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy’s founder and CEO says: “We’re disappointed to see the Feed-in Tariff cut significantly. The real story here seems to be that due to pressure from George Osborne and the Treasury, DECC has had to cut the one scheme that gives households control over their rising energy bills.”


Jamie O’Nians, Managing Director of solar company Your Power, says: “For Your Power the impact is significant, it is difficult to see how we can continue to grow, create jobs and add value to local economy - at the beginning of the year we had a team of 5 and now we are a team of 40. But the biggest losers from this reduction, apart from the Government's credibility, are the environment and the consumer."


Professor Stephen Frankel, chair of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network in Cornwall, says “we planned to install solar panels for free to local homes so benefits are retained in the area and contribute to our community fund. The cuts in FiTs mean our efforts to act upon government advice and encouragement have been for naught."


A spokesperson for Dorset County Council says “the Council had a £1million investment programme in schools planned between now and March 2012. Today’s announcement has stopped the programme dead in its tracks, with around £100,000 of publicly funded pre-installation investment costs lost. There will be a knock-on effect as there now won’t be sufficient confidence for the council to plan investments using other government schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive or the Green Deal.”
 

Kerry Burns, managing director at Solar Sense says "We'd have to stop selling orders, so what do my sales staff do between now and the end of the year? We won't be able to get in stock quick enough and customers won't want the new reduced tariff."