Formby Businessman Attacks Government’s Stance on Feed-in Tariff

The director of a renewable energy company based in Merseyside has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to express his “grave concern” over the forthcoming review of feed-in tariffs (FITs).

David Hunt, the Director of Eco Environments, went so far as to accuse the UK Government of adopting an “anti-renewables agenda”.

Addressing Mr Cameron in regard to the fast-track review of Feed-in Tariffs, Mr Hunt wrote: “The proposals will effectively sacrifice the UK’s flourishing solar industry and have already frozen investment in projects over 50kWp, which includes community projects and businesses wishing to do the right thing.

“The Coalition said it would ‘encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced’. Indeed, Vince Cable told me personally at an event in Liverpool that the Government is ‘fully committed to Feed-in Tariffs'”.

Mr Hunt added: “We have therefore been shocked by these proposals, which will once again leave the UK’s solar industry lagging far behind other countries. Unless the UK approach on solar is reconsidered, the sector could be sent into another tailspin in just 18 months.

“Allocated support is likely to run out for solar projects of any size, as a result of recasting the feed-in tariff as a capped mechanism in the Spending Review. There is widespread frustration that your Government does not understand this technology or its potential. Solar is crucial to a genuinely sustainable and competitive energy system in the UK. It could easily meet a third of the UK’s electricity needs”.

Mr Hunt’s objection to the Government’s review of FITs allies with concern expressed by other solar PV installation companies, a number of which applied for a judicial review of the decision last week.

Under the new plans, subsidies will be cut from 32.9p/kWh to 19p/kWh for installations between 50kW and 150kW. Installations producing between 150kW and 250kW will have subsidies cut from 30.7p/kWh to just 15.7p/kWh, whilst large-scale installations would benefit from subsidies as meagre as 8.5p/kWh.

Generating electricity from solar photovoltaic panels offers considerable financial and environmental savings. The Government’s review of FITs does not directly impact on low-level users such as homeowners, but it is likely to stifle the industry at higher levels.

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