Government softens FITs blow to domestic PV

The government has announced a 64% cut in the Feed In Tariff (FIT) incentive on offer to homeowners installing photovoltaic panels. The cut may appear severe, but is an improvement on the 89% reduction the government put forward in its consultation in the summer.

The new tariff for domestic-scale solar installations of less than 1MW will be set at 4.39p/kWh, down from the current level of 12p/kWh. Smaller scale commercial projects also have a new rate – set at 4.59p/kWh.

Government said that deployment caps will be set to limit new spending on the scheme to £100m up to the end of 2018/9. It is also reintroducing pre-accreditation for solar PV and wind generators over 50kW and all hydro and anaerobic digestion generators.

Government will pause new applications to the FIT scheme from 15 January to 8 February, to allow time for the implementation of cost control measures.

Renewable Energy Association head of policy and external affairs, James Court said, “The government have taken on board many of the common-sense suggestions from the REA and wider industry, such as bringing back pre-accreditation for long lead schemes, reallocating budgets from under deployed technologies and increasing deployment caps for solar.

“The tariffs are still very challenging and whilst the changes will help save some in the industry it remains that many will be exiting. But this is an improvement, and may still provide the base to get to post-subsidy.”

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