Although many Armageddon prophecies have been written about the coalition Government’s proposed cut to Feed in Tariffs for solar PV and its impact on the wider renewables agenda, I have to say that I don’t quite buy this vision of the future.
Whilst I am as disappointed as everyone else at the proposed reduction from 43p to 21p from early December, I recognise that the budget of £880m has been used up as commercial organisations cashed in on a financial windfall created by FiT’s, coupled with the dramatic falls in the price of solar panels. Government only ever intended that participants would make a return of 5% on a scheme funded by the general public; being honest many schemes were likely to yield a greater dividend than this.
Obviously, a number of local authorities and housing associations are partially through the delivery of schemes and it is unfortunate to say the least that the review has been brought forward from 31 March to now. APSE will be writing to Greg Barker calling for an exemption from the early reduction in tariff's for local authorities who have acted in good faith, based on Governments stated intention and entered into contractual arrangements aimed at delivering large volume schemes by 31 March. After all it is the public purse which will suffer if contracts need to be terminated.
On a wider renewables point I believe that there will be a pause for breath and then authorities will continue with their renewables programmes at pace. Solar will continue to have a place amongst wind, biomass and others; it will probably just not be as prominent as it was in the past.