Leaked document reveals potentially massive cuts for solar FiTs

A document detailing plans by the Government to cut solar subsidy by more than half was leaked by the Energy Saving Trust today. The document states: “A reduced rate of […]

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By Tom Gibson

A document detailing plans by the Government to cut solar subsidy by more than half was leaked by the Energy Saving Trust today. The document states: “A reduced rate of 21p/kWh for solar PV installations <4kW – tariffs will be introduced from 1 April 2012 and will affect all installations with an eligibility date on or after 8 December 2011.”

Feed-In Tariffs are a UK Government subsidy for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation. The costs of FITs are funded through energy bills, but have been under review so as to achieve grid parity.

The Energy Saving Trust was quick to downplay the mistake by claiming the information wasn’t relevant, despite DECC announcing the decision would be made to Parliament this coming Monday. The EST said: “This is a work in progress document which is no longer on our web site and cannot be relied upon as the Government consultation has yet to be announced. Then and only then will we know the precise contents. We cannot confirm anything within our fact sheet until then.”

Under the current FiT rate of 43.3p/kWh an average sized solar PV system in the UK could expect to earn neary £1200 a year with a payback of ten years. Under the proposed 21p.kWh rate a PV-owner would only earn £640 a year and wouldn’t pay back for 18 years.

A DECC spokesperson told ELN: “EST inadvertently published a draft of documentation on its website that was neither final nor accurate. We’ll be publishing a full consultation on changes to the solar PV tariffs in Parliament on Monday.”