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UK launches consultation on solar PV feed-in tariff cuts

A consultation paper on the further proposed cuts to the UK feed-in tariffs for solar photovoltaics (PV) has been published by Minister of State Gregory Barker at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

By Kari Williamson

The UK Government has proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff for solar PV in the UK based on the falling costs of solar PV as well as the wider economic climate.

“The green economy does not exist in a vacuum and it is important, particularly in the current climate, that our approach to public subsidy is responsible and results in the widest possible deployment,” Barker says in a statement.

The UK Government is proposing to reduce the feed-in tariff for solar PV with a total installed capacity of up to 4 kW to £0.21/kWh. It is also proposing reductions to the generation tariffs for solar PV installations between 4 kW and 250kW.

“These changes are vital if we are to ensure a lasting FITs scheme,” Barker says.

The proposed start date for the new feed-in tariffs for solar PV is 1 April 2012 for all new solar PV installations that become eligible on or after 12 December 2011.

Multi-installations and efficiency

The consultation also seeks views on two other changes to the FITs scheme for solar PV:

  • Firstly, the introduction from 1 April 2012 of new multi-installation tariff rates for aggregated solar PV schemes. These are schemes where a single individual or organisation owns or receives feed-in tariff payments from more than one solar PV installation, located on different sites; and
  • Secondly, to strengthen the link between feed-in tariffs and energy efficiency by introducing a new energy efficiency requirement for feed-in tariffs for solar PV. The new requirement would apply to all new solar PV installations which become eligible for feed-in tariffs on or after 1 April 2012 which are attached or wired to provide electricity to a building. If the building does not meet the energy efficiency requirement the installation would receive a lower feed-in tariff rate of £0.09/kWh.

The consultation will close on 23 December 2011.

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