Last week we announced that changes to the Feed-in-Tariff had been delayed due to recent low solar installation figures. It was first proposed that new cuts would come into force 1st July 2012. However due to the 40 days’ notice required by law to protect ‘unlawful’ moves from the government, we can now expect the cuts to come into play a month later than first expected. This delay could have been caused by a number of factors but consumer confidence and news that the UK has slipped back into recession are thought to be amongst the two main reasons.
Since the revision figures have been introduced, the total installation figures for solar PV have naturally declined. The official introduction of the 21p kWh rate saw the total number of PV installs decrease from a whopping 9,009 in the last week of March 2012 to just 859 in the first week of April. Now more than ever it is important to broadcast positive message to all and try to win back consumer confidence.
The new FIT rate, now announced to come into play August 1st 2012, will be 16p kWh for domestic homeowners. Furthermore, all tariffs will decrease on a three month basis, starting on October 1 and are set to decrease at a rate of 3.5% unless a 'rapid uptake occurs.'
Barker commented, "We can now look with confidence to a future for solar which will see it go from a small cottage industry, anticipated under the previous scheme, to playing a significant part in Britain's clean energy economy."
In addition to the newly introduced lower tariff, other revisions include:
Export tariff will be increased from 3.2p to 4.5p/kWh for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1;
The expect FIT lifetime will be now decrease from 25 to 20 years for those installations with an eligibility date on or after August 1; and
Tariffs for installations that do not meet the energy efficiency requirements will mirror the tariffs for standalone installations.
We can now expect a small boom in this 10 week window before the new rate comes into play but it should be enough to get the market going again.