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The UK government has laid before parliament its proposals to reduce feed-in tariff rates for new PV installations with an eligibility date on or after March 3, 2012, reports Solar Power Portal. The move is an attempt by Westminster to provide some certainty to the world’s eighth largest solar market, which has been left stranded by a legal battle surrounding the premature lowering of the solar PV feed-in tariff rate.
The current legal-wrangling has left the UK solar industry in a state of limbo, with no confirmed feed-in tariff rate for systems installed after December 12 until the court’s outcome is known. The tabling of draft licence modifications outlines the government’s intentions for the FiT if it loses its appeal against the High Court’s ruling that its December 12 solar installation deadline was “unlawful”.
If the court finds in favour the coalition of solar companies, the old feed-in tariff rate of 43.3p would be reinstated. However, this rate would only be applicable for systems installed before March 3, 2012.
If the court finds in favour of the Government’s appeal, the contested December 12 reference date will be enforced as originally proposed. Ministers believe that it is necessary to move to a lower feed-in tariff rate as quickly as possible to protect an already over-stretched budget.
Secretary of state for energy and climate change, Chris Huhne, commented: “It is very important that we reserve this as an option because these 43p payments will take a disproportionate share of the budget available for small-scale low-carbon technologies. We want instead to maximise the number of installations that are possible within the available budget rather than use available subsidy to pay a higher tariff to a smaller number of installations.”
The new generation tariffs set out in the draft licence modifications being laid today are set out in the table below and would apply for all installations with an eligibility date on or after March 3, 2012.
|Band (kW Declared Net Capacity (DNC)||Current generation tariff (p/kWh)||New generation tariff from 1 April 2012 (p/kWh)|
|≤4kW (new build)||37.8||21.0|