The National Farmers’ Union has branded government plans to cut the level of feed-in tariff incentives available to large solar installations as ill-judged and extremely damaging for renewable energy in Britain.
A ‘fast-track’ review of FiTs for solar was published last week and has already attracted severe criticism.
Now the NFU has added its voice to the outcry. Its chief adviser for renewable energy Jonathan Scurlock said: “We are horrified to see solar electricity incentives snatched away from our farmers and growers, many of whom have invested substantial amounts of their own project development money in good faith.
“These are not adjustments to the incentive scheme – this is an ill-judged slash-and-burn decision that sends an extremely damaging message to investors in UK renewable energy.”
The NFU argues that a proposed cut in solar tariffs above 50 kilowatts will render many farm rooftop schemes uneconomic, and the potential environmental benefits of large solar farms will become “a lost cause”.
Dr Scurlock added: “The fast-moving international solar industry will be driven from the shores of Britain, and the government will struggle to decarbonise power generation without the confidence of investors in land-based renewables. The timing could hardly be worse – this is a ghastly strategic mistake.”