UK government confirms plan to end key rooftop solar support

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Source: Sungift.

A key policy for UK rooftop solar will end in the spring.

The export tariff will close to new applicants at the same time as the generation tariff, the government has confirmed, despite overwhelming opposition to the plans.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed the news in a response to this summer’s consultation, claiming a fixed and flat-rate export tariff does “not align with the wider government objectives” of a move toward market-based solutions.

The feed-in tariff scheme will therefore now close in full to new applicants from 31 March 2019.

However, the government has noted responses to the consultation which stressed the need for a route to market for small-scale generators after the expiration of the scheme, and has committed to report on specific proposals for such arrangements “in due course”.

Furthermore, BEIS has also decided to implement some time-limited extensions proposed for all ‘MCS-scale’ – expressly defined as solar and wind systems with a net capacity of 50kW or less – that have not pre-registered as a school or community energy installation from 31 January to 31 March 2020.

Other conclusions reached in the consultation document include;

  • There will be no reallocation of unused capacity that had been budgeted for, said to be in line with the government’s commitment to keeping energy bills as low as possible;
  • Net costs of metered exports will be brought into the levelisation process, to be applied to metered exports from installations of all sizes into effect for FiT year 10 on 1 April 2019;
  • The average time-weighted system sell price will be used to determine the value of metered export to FiT licensees.

However, the government has said it will spend more time examining the possible effect of replacing older generating equipment with newer, more efficient panels, with a more detailed consultation set to follow.

Follow this story as it develops on our sister site SolarPowerPortal.co.uk

Overwhelming negative response

The government said it received 345 responses to the consultation from industry stakeholders, and a staggering 315 – equivalent to 91% – disagreed with the export tariff proposals. With a total of 14 expressing no comment or answer on that specific proposal, just 16 – around 4.6% – said they were in support of the decision.  

Neil Jones, campaigner at charity 10:10 Climate Action, said it was “hard to fathom” the government’s logic.

“Solar has been a huge success story, seeing a million homes and a thousand schools taking clean energy and climate action into their own hands.

“Yet the government has bizarrely decided to prevent new homes, schools and businesses installing solar after March from being paid for the energy they export to the grid. While coal-fired power stations continue to profit, households wanting to go green will be left out of pocket.

“The government now has 3 months to fix this. It must choose whether it wants to back the public’s favourite energy source – solar – or instead push it off a cliff,” he said.

No U-turn from Perry

The decision may also come as a surprise to the sector considering some of the messaging from energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry in recent weeks.

When grilled on the subject by MPs from both sides of the despatch box in late November, Perry said it would be “wrong” for solar to be exported to the grid for free.

“I do completely agree that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free and that’s why I’ll shortly be announcing the next steps for small-scale renewables,” the minister said at the time.

Read Next

July 28, 2021
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has unveiled formal plans to replace its existing solar support framework with a new incentive programme which will support up to 3.75GW of new solar over the next five years.
July 22, 2021
US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has failed in a bid to fast-track the US’ US$1.2 trillion infrastructure investment bill through the Senate. But there remains hope that further progress could be made as early as next Monday, when some Republican senators believe the bill will be fit to proceed.
July 21, 2021
At least 455GW of new solar PV capacity will need to be installed each year by the end of this decade for the world to reach net zero status by 2050, new analysis by BloombergNEF (BNEF) has found.
July 20, 2021
Spanish developer Grenergy has added three new directors to its team with the aim of accelerating its European energy and storage operations
PV Tech Premium
July 19, 2021
Stephan Schindele, head of product management Agri-PV at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects, explores the mutual benefits of ‘Agri-PV’ to both solar farm operators and farmers alike, and reveals what is needed to take the sub-sector forward.
PV Tech Premium
July 15, 2021
Earlier this week the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published its 2021 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) document, detailing the continued reduction in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of the country’s core generators. Liam Stoker takes a look at the data and discusses just how cheap solar, and solar-storage, could become.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK