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Financial Support for Small Solar Power Schemes

The Department of Energy & Climate Change is seeking views on proposals aimed at preventing large scale photovoltaic (PV) schemes installed by large commercial organisations from soaking up the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) subsidy, which would otherwise help to support smaller PV schemes submitted by households or communities or other technologies such as wind, hydro and anaeorobic digestion.

The proposals reflect the impact of unexpected and significant reductions in the costs of solar PV technology on schemes of 50KW and more. The estimated 30% reduction in costs means there could already be 169MW of large-scale solar capacity in the planning system – equivalent to funding solar panels on the roofs of some 50,000 homes.

In addition to proposing a reduction in FITs for larger and stand-alone PV schemes, the consulatation also suggests an increase in FITs for farm-scale anaerobic digestion schemes up to 500KW, following a study that suggested current tariffs were not high enough to make such schemrs worthwhile.

DECC intends that any changes to FITs will be implemented on 11 July and will not be applied retrospectively. A comprehensive review of FITs that commenced in February will not be completed until the end of the year and other tariffs will remain unchanged until April 2012 unless the review identifies any other need for great urgency.

‘Consultation on fast-track review of Feed-in Tariffs for small scale low carbon electricity’ is available, together with links to an online email response at http://tinyurl.com/bizinf-215t7– pdf (DECC enquires; tel: 0300 060 4000).

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