UK Government softens domestic solar cuts



The UK Government has confirmed cuts to financial support for domestic solar projects – but by less than expected.
The so-called Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) will be reduced by 64% in comparison to the previous proposal of an 87% cut.
That means the total cap for small-scale renewable projects will stand at £100 million from February 2016 to April 2019.
The revised tariffs for domestic solar now stands at 4.39p/kWh for projects with a capacity of less than 10KW. It has also re-introduced pre-accreditation for solar and wind generators higher than 50KW and all hydro and anaerobic digestion generators.
The FiT for wind turbines of 100KW to 1,500KW has been set at 5.46p/kWh – up from the proposed 4.52p/kWh. For wind projects between 50KW to 100KW, tariff levels have been increased from 4.52p/kWh to 8.54p/kWh.
Hydro has been hit the hardest as projects less than 100KW will receive a rate of 8.54p/kWh – down from the proposed 10.66p/kWh.
Those between 100KW and 2,000KW will receive 6.14p/kWh – less than what was previously proposed – however the rate for those with a capacity of more than 2,000KW has risen from 2.18p/kWh to 4.43p/kWh.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: “My priority is to ensure energy bills for hardworking families and businesses are kept as low as possible whilst ensuring there is a sensible level of support for low carbon technologies that represent value for money.
“We have to get the balance right and I am clear that subsidies should be temporary, not part of a permanent business model. When the cost of technologies come down, so should the consumer-funded support.”
The government also confirmed it will close the RO across Britain to new solar capacity at 5MW and below from 1st April 2016.
FiTs are funded through the Levy Control Framework (LCF) which is designed to control the costs of supporting low carbon electricity, paid for through consumers’ energy bills. DECC believes support for projects under FiTs is currently projected to cost at least £1.74 billion a year by 2020/21 if measures aren’t taken to control spend.