Solar Feed-In-Tariff

A proposition to reduce solar feed-in-tariffs by 87 percent in the United Kingdom might suppress the country’s solar industry, say Friends of the Earth.

The acceptance of feed-in-tariffs in the UK has gone beyond all renewable energy deployment predictions.

“…the Feed-in Tariff projected that we would reach 750,000 installations by 2020: by the end of July 2015, we had already reached over 730,000,” says a report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

After January, all consumers installing solar system will get a rate of 1.6p for extra electricity transported to the grid under the DECC’s proposition – equivalent to AUD 3.5c at current exchange rates.

In the United Kingdom, residential solar is somewhat expensive unlike Australia; as feed-in-tariffs are significantly taking the shape of a purchase decision.

Based on the analysis from Energy Saving Trust, the mean residential solar PV system installed in the United Kingdom is 4kW and costs £5,000 – 8,000 (including VAT at 5 per cent); which is equivalent to AUD $10,800 – $17,000. A larger, 5kW system in Australia costs approximately $6,000 – $6,500; fully installed.

With such a decline in feed-in-tariff, its feared uptake of solar is subject to be affected and a lot of employments will be halted.

“Around a million homes, schools and hospitals will lose out on solar installations – according to the Government’s own figures. The 35,000 people who work in the solar industry now face an uncertain future,” says Friends of the Earth UK’s Henry Chown.

“The Government itself estimates that this will increase the UK’s carbon emissions by 1,240,000 tons per year. And the savings for bill-payers from all this? £6 a year. The Government is selling out our planet for the price of a month’s subscription to Netflix.”

Donna Home also indicates the proposition is nowhere close to economics.

“These are political choices. This Government is saying yes to fracking, yes to fossil fuels, yes to nuclear – no matter how much it costs the public and no matter the scale of the risks. But saying no to wind, and no to solar.”

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