Greg Barker has announced new tariff levels for the subsidy given to solar installations and anaerobic digestion (AD).
The decision has been sharply anticipated by the solar industry, some of whom worry that it will shrink the development of the UK sector.
The Energy Minister said that the move was needed to stop the scheme being overwhelmed by projects over 5 megawatts (MW), which would cost approximately £1.3 million per year. Spending on twenty schemes that size would be equal to putting solar PV in 25,000 homes.
Mr Barker said: “Without action the scheme would be overwhelmed. The new tariffs will ensure a sustained growth path for the solar industry while protecting the money for householders, small businesses and communities and will also further encourage the uptake of green electricity from anaerobic digestion.”
The fast track review has now lowered the FiTs for all future solar installations under 5MW and over 250 kilowatts (kW) to 8.5 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh), while AD projects between 250-500kW will slightly increase to 13.0 pence per kWh.
Over 40,000 installations have registered for Feed in Tariffs since the scheme started in April 2010. For new installations the changes take effect from 1st August 2011. Solar schemes under 50kW are unaffected by this review.
The tariffs for new entrants into the FiTs scheme will be:
>50 kW – ≤ 150 kW Total Installed Capacity (TIC)- 19.0p/ kWh
>150 kW – ≤ 250 kW TIC – 15.0p/ kWh
250 kW – 5 MW TIC and stand-alone installations – 8.5p/ kWh
≤ 250 kW – 14.0p/ kWh
>250 kW – ≤ 500 kW – 13.0p/ kWh