Release Date: 14/07/2011
Feed In Tariff Review does not take the shine off small scale domestic installations, says ELECSA.
Electrical contractors looking to diversify into microgeneration technology should not change their plans in light of the Government putting its controversial Feed in Tariff (FiT) programme under the spotlight.
This is the view of ELECSA, the 6,500-strong certification body run by electricians for electricians which was commenting upon the DECC Feed In Tariff Fast-Track Summary Consultation and Government Response.
In the Coalition’s response, the Government has slashed FiTs for all but small domestic installations to stop the scheme being overwhelmed by larger, commercial applications taking unfair advantage of the subsidy. Now all installations over 50 KW, including so-called ‘solar farms’ will receive just 19 pence per kilowatt-hour (KWh) compared to the 32.9 KWh they would have received before the review.
The review followed a realisation that the incentive funds put aside for the scheme would be soaked up by larger solar installations meaning that the cash would not reach those it was intended to. The Government’s own figures suggest that one 5MW would absorb £1.3 million of FiT each year and deny 25,000 households access to the subsidy.
“There is a broader political debate about the UK’s on-going green commitment and meeting the UK’s environmental targets by 2012, but it is not a discussion for our members who should continue their diversification and investment into solar PV unabated,” said Chris Beedel, Certification Director, ECA.
“The Government had underestimated the level of interest from larger commercial operations looking to benefit from the FiT take-up, but this review has drawn a line in the sand that future-proofs the work of smaller, electrical contractors who will largely be working upon domestic installations of less than 50KW, which is what the scheme was set up to achieve,” he said.
“There may be a slight adjustment in the level of subsidy here, but their investment is protected up to and beyond 2020 as more and more householders seek alternatives to fossil fuels and seek to make their contribution to greener energy. This was the original intention of the FiT programme so little or nothing has changed – it still does what it says on the tin as far as homeowners and smaller electrical installers are concerned,” he added.