I would like to draw your attention to the imminent threat to the Feed
in Tariff for PV. Whatever your views on the efficacy of large scale
land based solar, the emergency review announced last week threatens
the entire sector.
In 10 short months since the introduction of the Feed in Tariff, the
UK solar sector has become a real success story at a time of severe
economic downturn. Up to 19,000 jobs forecast to be created by the
end of this year, significant inward investment achieved and cost
reductions of 40%. In addition, it is proving a very popular
technology with the general public, community groups, schools and
housing associations. We have a number of commercial customers who
are considering large roof top arrays to cover much of their daytime
energy use. Our solar farm plans have been received very favourably
in local communities. It is even supported by the DNOs who like the
idea of locally generated capacity – saves them having to make some
grid strengthening investments locally.
The review announced last week covers everything over 50kw which the
government has decided constitutes a ‘large installation’ (although
the legislation considers everything under 5MW as small scale). Word
has it that all solar farms and most large rooftop installations will
be severely restricted beyond July at the latest. There is talk of a
cap of 500MW of cumulative installations by 2014. Compare this to
Germany’s 7GW last year alone.
We are lucky in that our company spans all sizes of install from
residential to 5MW solar farms so will still have a business even if
the government follows through on its plans. However, the review has
caused a crisis of confidence throughout the investment community. A
North American bank we had been working with has already pulled out of
the UK as a result of the review and a number of our commercial
customers and many residential customers have decided to delay their
decisions until after the review reports. The latter are quite
rightly questioning whether it can believe the government over the 25
year commitment of the FIT when it hasn’t even managed to last 10
Our company has recruited many new staff over the last few months and
had plans to recruit many more this year. Our plans are now on hold.
This story will be played out across many thousands of businesses at
The ‘greenest government ever’ and the ‘green jobs revolution’ can now
join the increasing pile of discarded slogans from the coalition
Lincs PE10 0FF
Tel: 01778 391595
Mob: 07748 186846
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