A short life lived too hard, such a shame

2008 - 2015

A morbid headline, particularly when considering Amber Rudd's entry into parliament and her sentiment of wishing to support and grow the solar PV sector. Unfortunately the burden of UK Plc's debtors called for a consultation of the FIT (the subsidy known as the "feed in tariff" paid to anyone who installs solar currently in the UK that ultimately makes it commercially feasible).

The consultation proposes over a 70% cut to this subsidy, which after the slashes in 2011, would create unemployment and business closure in the solar sector. Previous slashes in 2011 could be understood when considering the drop in the cost of solar panels; particularly with high quality, low cost solar available to import from China.

We believe the FiT support should continue to fall as solar becomes cheaper to deploy, but through a structured and well managed subsidy scheme. Instead, the government evidently plans to remove support entirely,? said Simon Booth, Managing Director from REI. ?This would appear to be politically motivated and will take away power from people and hand it back to big energy firms.

The proposed slashes in the FIT would leave the investment case for businesses to install solar on their rooftops in tatters. With the FIT a business installing a system with a total yield size less than 50kWp can achieve an 8-12 payback. With the proposed changes this would fall back to 15-20years; a pretty unattractive proposal particularly with the sentiment of "this is what you could have had".

To give an example; currently a 30kWp system would receive 11.3p/kWH for energy generated. From 1st Jan 2016 the proposal is to pay just 3.69p/kWH. Considering then that a 30kWp system will generate roughly 30,000kWH in a well placed south-facing rooftop the existing tariff would pay a subsidy of £3,390. The new tariff pays just £1,107.

The consultation is due to close on 23rd October; https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/office-for-renewable-energy-deployment-ored/fit-review-2015

Links: Overview of the FIT Overview of the FIT Consultation