Cuts to Solar PV Tariffs Questioned by House of Lords

The Government’s plans to slash the feed-in tariff (Fit) for solar PV systems over 50kW has been questioned in a recent debate in the House of Lords.

A group – comprising of members of the Micropower Council, the Building Council for Sustainable Energy UK, the British Photovoltaic Association, the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association and the Combined Heat & Power Association – raised concerns over blocking the feed-in tariff review for solar photovoltaics systems over 50kW.

In their appeal to the House of Lords to seriously consider the fast-track feed-in tariff adjustments, two motions were put forward expressing regrets at the Government’s decision to impose cuts of up to 70% to the feed-in tariff scheme. The Micropower Council lead a motion to let the changes go ahead, whilst an Early Day Motion – backed by Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband – called upon the Commons to block the changes.

During the debate the Lords were in agreement that solar had been treated unfairly, and that policy decisions had been made without due consideration.

Lord Whitty, the former Chair of Consumer Focus and a long-term fuel poverty campaigner said that discouraging solar technology was not the answer. Highlighting the tariff reductions as recommended by the Solar Trade Association (STA), he pointed out that tariffs could have received a reduction of 25-30% across all solar projects, regardless of their size, which would have seen the cost of the scheme reduced, while the larger, more cost-effective schemes were still treated fairly.

Conservative Peer Lord Lucas also expressed concern that the solar industry had been treated unfairly, whilst Lib Dem Lord Teverson added his support to the motion.

The issue is now set to go through the Commons.

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