Feed-in Tariff plans 'a disaster'

Published:  21 March, 2011

The industry has expressed concerns over the latest proposals to reduce financial support available through the Feed-in Tariff for built environment installations over 50kW.

The industry has expressed concerns over the latest proposals to reduce financial support available through the Feed-in Tariff for built-environment installations over 50kW.

Most domestic and small-scale installations remain unaffected until April 2012, some manufacturers fear the cuts would exclude various groups from taking part in the government's "decentralised energy revolution".

Reduced tariffs would mean that many schemes for schools, hospitals and other public buildings would be financially impossible.

Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Mircopower Council, said: "While we are relieved that the sub-50kW sector has been left untouched for the time being and that installations already accredited will not be affected, we are surprised and concerned by the depth of proposed cuts to all scales of built environment solar PV.

"Numerous built environment installations, including community projects at the very heart of citizen engagement, may well not survive if these proposals go ahead."

Sowden also suspects that "many jobs will go and businesses will see demand dry up".

Richard Garth-Jones, managing director of the Low Carbon Energy Company, said: "This is very bad news for the industry. [The] announcement has poured cold water over what could be the UK's biggest growth industry – and this coming from allegedly the greenest government we've ever had.

"Every time this government speaks on the subject, it creates more negativity, confusion and uncertainty. If the rates proposed in the consultation are imposed, it will have a devastating effect on medium- and large-scale projects.

"The whole sector is being undermined, material prices will stay high, the opportunity to develop expertise will be lost and jobs and growth will be severely affected.

"In short, it's a disaster".

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