FiTs cut back is ‘serious mistake’ for industry

Environmental campaigners have slammed DECC’s proposals to reduce the Feed in Tariffs for large-scale solar energy projects over 50kW. Richard Garth-Jones, Managing Director for The Low Carbon Energy Company told […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Environmental campaigners have slammed DECC’s proposals to reduce the Feed in Tariffs for large-scale solar energy projects over 50kW.

Richard Garth-Jones, Managing Director for The Low Carbon Energy Company told ELN: “This is very bad news for the industry. Today’s announcement has poured cold water over what could be the UK’s biggest growth industry – and this coming from allegedly the greenest government we’ve ever had. Every time this government speaks on the subject it creates more negativity, confusion and uncertainty.

“The whole sector is being undermined, material prices will stay high, the opportunity to develop expertise will be lost, and jobs and growth will be severely affected. In short, it’s a disaster.”

Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association said that like the Energy Minister she didn’t want “boom and bust” but that DECC had got it wrong.

She said: “We don’t want boom and bust in this sector either, but pulling the rug out from under the feet of those that have ventured into this market was precisely the wrong response. The UK will return to the solar slow-lane. It’s as good as a retrospective change and that does untold damage to investor confidence. It’s not acceptable and we will fight it.”

Howard Johns, Chairman of the Solar Trade Association urged the Government to be as ambitious with the FiTs as it intends to be with the Renewable Heat Incentive. He said: “Not only is solar very popular, it is fast to deploy and inherently safe. We know that DECC can be visionary – it has been on renewable heat – it is in the public interest to apply similar vision to solar to reap the huge benefits of this technology.”

However, some businesses that invested in smaller-scale technology welcomed today’s news from DECC.

Tom Hill-Norton at the Guinness Renewable Energy EIS Fund told ELN: “We welcome the increased clarity that Greg Barker’s announcement today on solar feed-in tariffs brings to the sector, and we are pleased that it validates our strategy to invest across wind, hydro and small scale solar opportunities.”

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FiTs for large-scale solar cut back under new proposals