Reactions to the recent Feed-in Tariff announcements have been mixed throughout the industry, with Chief Executive of the Micropower Council, Dave Sowden, describing his relief “that the sub 50kW sector has been left untouched”, relief to which his reaction of surprise and concern about proposed cuts to the 50kW plus sector is of stark contrast. Sowden clearly showed his shock at these cuts, describing them as “counterproductive in terms of Government’s aim to promote an ambitious roll-out of decentralised domestic and community-scale technologies”, and stating that they “will badly affect investor confidence in the sectors affected.”
Sowden is not alone in his concerns for the cuts, with a sense of dissatisfaction and outrage rippling through the renewable energy sector- Howard Johns, MD of Southern Solar, described the government as showing a “complete lack of ambition for solar in the UK”.
Although there is a sense of relief that the bulk of smaller installations and household installations remain safe until April 2012 at the earliest, the proposals for a reduction in financial support for those installations over 50kW would result in the exclusion of community schemes, hospitals, and schools from being financially viable, thus resulting in waves of dismay throughout the industry.
The aim of the scheme was initially to see businesses and home-owners be rewarded with payments for the number of kilowatt hours of electricity generated by their renewable energy systems. However, there remain to be rising concerns surrounding the recent cuts and the depth of their damage to the industry, despite insistence from the government that these cuts were made in order to prevent exploitation of the scheme and encourage home owners and smaller renewable energy systems.
Shaun Taylor, Managing Director of SolarTech, states that with the recent increase in tariffs in line with inflation, photovoltaic tariffs will never be higher than in the next twelve months. Thus, there is a window of opportunity to invest in these systems in the coming months and achieve a maximum return on investments.