Install now before tariffs take big fall and petition

The government proposes big reduction in feed-in tariffs for renewable generators from January 2016 (UPDATE: now expected to take effect on 25 February 2016).

Those considering solar PV panels should move quickly to benefit from current tariff rates. Once an installation is registered, you stay on the same rate with an annual inflation uplift.

The Energy Saving Trust shows the tariff reduction proposed for domestic installations is 87%.

YouGen and the Centre for Sustainable Energy have published the following reports on the proposals:

These aim to explain the reasons for the proposals (to control budgets and offer better value for money), with YouGen also highlighting what feed-in tariffs have already achieved.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) on behalf of the solar industry has stated:

“With these changes expected to take effect in January, we will see a surge in deployment over the next four months as consumers and installers seek to avoid the cliff edge the REA has long warned about.

“Rooftop solar has to been seen as one of the key technologies for a decarbonised future, with consumers and businesses also gaining control over the centralised energy market, this is a phenomenally damaging and short sighted decision which sets back this goal significantly and will lead to higher costs in the medium to long term.

“87% is beyond the worst fears of many of our members, it is hard to see how homeowners or businesses could see solar as an attractive option for the foreseeable future following these disproportionate cuts.

“Solar has come down in cost so dramatically in the past five years and has grid parity in its sights, the industry feels like it’s having it’s legs cut away metres from the finishing line.”

Earlier in July, REA had published a report detailing solar power’s impressive cost reduction in the past decade and modelling different scenarios to grid parity in the next five years, so the costs of solar power matched retail electricity prices. REA’s aim was to enable the industry to continue to develop as direct subsidies are gradually phased out.

REA’s press release stated:

  • Ground mounted solar set to reach “grid parity” by 2020.
  • Rooftop solar is following closely behind but needs stable policy to achieve the cost reductions necessary.
  • UK needs to avoid a cliff edge to ensure a smooth transition and help the UK achieve the most cost efficient renewables strategy.

A petition (click to sign) to the UK Government and Parliament is calling for a review to the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s approach and states:

“Today (27/08/15) DECC announced a proposed cut of the Solar Feed In Tariff by 87% by January 2016. A variety of recent cuts by government to support solar and renewable energy will cause a loss of affordable clean energy choices, taking away power from people and handing it back to big energy firms.

“Subsidies for ALL renewables currently cost £3.5bn yr compared to £26bn yr in subsidies for fossil fuels. That’s £400 per year per household to support the fossil fuel industry.”

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