Financial support for many new solar farms will end under the Government’s new plans. The Department for Energy and Climate Change has dealt another series of blows to the renewable energy industry with fresh proposals to cease financial support for solar and biomass conversion plants and amend the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme for smaller projects.
The announcements were made by Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, as part of new measures to deal with a projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies through the Levy Control Framework (LCF).
“My priorities are clear – we need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way,” said Rudd. “Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies. We’re taking action to protect consumers, whilst protecting existing investment”.
The Government has launched a consultation on proposals to end support for solar PV of 5MW and below under the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy scheme from April 2016. This follows a similar move last year which saw solar farms of more than 5MW in size – about 25 acres – excluded from receiving support from the RO scheme as of April this year.
Industry body the Solar Trade Association (STA) says today’s announcements will prove “a real blow to investor confidence”. The STA’s head of external affairs Leonie Greene said: “This is damaging for big solar rooftops as well as solar farms, both very cost-effective ways of generating solar power. This contrasts with repeated commitments from Government to boost the commercial solar rooftop market.”
“There is no pledge in the Conservative manifesto about cutting support for solar, so we are disappointed by this move. Solar is the nation’s most popular form of energy, as the Government’s own opinion polls have shown.”
The consultation on changes to financial support for solar PV is now open and closes on 2nd September 2015. We are compiling feedback from our members and would appreciate your views. Feedback and the outcome will be reported on the website in due course.
To discuss further and provide your views please contact Melanie Kendall-Reid on 01252 878722 or email email@example.com.