The cuts on financial support will affect solar projects over 50 kilowatt (kW) and will not be applied retrospectively. Medium-sized solar installations (100 kW) could see incentives cut by more than 40%, while the very biggest under the FIT scheme will see subsidies slashed by more than 70%.
The financial cuts had been expected ever since the Government announced in February that it was launching a fast-track review into 50 kW solar installations. With this measure the government has acted in response to those involved in community schemes who asked for a review that would make solar farms a separate case.
However, the size of last Friday’s cuts has taken the solar industry by surprise. It has described the financial cuts on solar installations as "horrendous"
Under the proposals, solar installations with a capacity of between 50 kW and 150 kW will receive 19 pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) through the FIT scheme. Installations with a capacity of between 150 kW and 250 kW will receive 15 p/kWh, while those of between 250 kW and 5 MW will receive 8.5 kWh. This compares to 32.9 p/kWh tariffs for installation of between 10 kW and 100 kW, and 30.7 p/kWh tariffs for those between 100 kW and 5 MW, which were due to come into effect from this April.
Energy Minister, Greg Barker said "The FITs scheme has been a success since its launch in April 2010 with over 27,000 FITs installations registered to date," but he added: "The projections for take up of FITs published by the previous Government failed to anticipate any large or small scale non-domestic solar PV installations until 2013. These projections have clearly proved to be flawed. Current market indications are that a rapid increase in the number of larger solar installations entering the scheme could distort funding for smaller and domestic scale installations as well as other technologies."
But, the Renewable Energy Association’
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a consultation proposing increased incentives available to anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies of up to 500 kilowatts, as part of an effort to accelerate adoption of the waste-to-energy technology. Only two AD plants have been accredited for feed-in tariffs to date. The consultation on the proposed tariffs will run until May 6 2011, with the aim of introducing the changes from August 1 2011.
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