Another blow to renewable energy

The UK Government may be about to add a further blow to renewables by threatening to scrap Feed in Tariffs.

The government aims to rein its spending following the revelation it overspent on the £7.6 billion levy control framework (LCF) by £1.5 billion. Decc has suggested it would close the FiT to new applicants by January 2016 if cost control measures are not implemented or prove to be ineffective. These cost control measures include introducing new tariffs based on “fresh evidence” about the costs and rates of returns on solar, wind and hydropower technologies.

This could see support for solar scaled back by up to 86 per cent, and some subsidies for onshore wind removed completely. The Solar Trade Association’s head of policy Mike Landy said: “This is the antithesis of a sensible policy for achieving better public value for money while safeguarding the British solar industry.”

Renewable UK’s Maf Smith said; “it looks as if the long term vision has been lost” and that they are “damaging changes which undermine investment”.

Scottish Renewables Joss Blamire said the proposals are “quite simply terrible news” and that reducing support “so far, and so quickly, could be hugely damaging”.

Decc stated it is still considering removing FiT pre-acreditation to limit the impact on bill payers of deployment surges in smaller scale renewable technologies. The consultation says: “We are proposing measures to place policy costs on bills on a sustainable footing, improve bill payer value for money, and limit the effects on consumers who ultimately pay for renewable energy subsidies.”

New figures published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that the UK Government may not be looking in the right place if it wants to cut energy subsidies. The IMF’s latest analysis estimates that the UK will spend about £26 billion, equivalent to 1.37% of its GDP, on subsidies for fossil fuels this year.

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