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Not Quite The Fairy Tale Ending; Solar Industry Waits on Governments Feed-In-Tariff Appeal Decision.

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 16th January 2012

Once upon a time, the 'greenest government yet ' launched an incentive scheme rewarding a homeowner with 43.3 kwph for every unit of electricity generated via solar energy. This new incentive was called the Feed-in-Tariff which promoted the production of green energy which could be fed back into the national grid. By contributing to the production of green energy, the government agreed to look after the homeowner’s investment by allowing the rate to be protected for up to 25 years.

However in December last year, the fairy tale hit the rocky middle part where the ogre (we’ll call him Greg Barker) rushed to cut the incentive scheme in half because his incentive pot of gold started to dry up. Instead of adapting some sensible planning with plenty of notice, Barker opted for a quick fix which jeopardised nearly 30,000 jobs.

The ‘quick fix’ was cutting the subsidy from 43.3 kwph to 21 kwph overnight and leaving solar PV installers and homeowners with less than 40 days’ notice. Needless to say this sent the industry into panic as homeowners wanted to secure the higher rate and there simply weren’t enough installers to do the jobs they were confronted with. Great news for the installer in the short term, but this opened up a pit of uncertainty as no one could rightly say what the industry would look like in the New Year.

Meanwhile, Environmental and Climate change company, Friends of the Earth started campaigning that the FIT cuts were ‘unlawful’ and won a high court case against the government. Since then, the government appealed the court ruling in early January and we’ve all been clinging to our seats since to hear how this story ends.

Well the ending has been err...delayed and it turns out the judge ruling on the governments appeal case, has postponed his decision which will undoubtedly create more uncertainty for the industry and its future.

How will it end?

Fingers crossed the government loses they’re appeal, the ogre will get a slap on the wrist and everyone can get the chance to get their pot of gold before the inevitable review date of 1st April. The sooner the appeal decision is announced, the sooner we can repair the holes the government has created in such a lucrative industry. It’s a shame it’s had to come to this, but the good guy always wins in the end don’t they?

Meanwhile: At least we've got support from our MP Henry Smith:

(Image above was in reply to email sent from company director Carl Bennett regarding FIT support.)

disneycastle - Imagesource@thecontaminated.com

Categories: government, feed-in-tariff