UK STA says next PV cuts will be "destructive"

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The DECC proudly presented its proposed changes to the industry yesterday. Having adopted a model similar to Germany’s, where tariffs are reduced in line with cost reductions and industry growth, it says the new FITs will be transparent and predictable. Overall, it intends to install 22 gigawatts of photovoltaics in the U.K. by 2020.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has described the announcement as a "huge step forward". However, it believes the environment for many companies remains challenging in the short term. "After the uncertainty caused by the previous three reviews of the scheme during this year and the Government’s on-going legal battle, this next set of cuts will be very destructive for many in the sector," said the association in a statement released.

Specifically, it refers to the government’s impact assessment forecasts, which see around one third of jobs being lost in the sector during 2012. "29,000 people are employed in the sector and many of these jobs are once more at risk," continued STA. Howard Johns, Chairman, Solar Trade Association adds: "We welcome the extra budget and increased ambition, but if many solar workers lose their jobs this year because of these changes, how can we hope to deliver on these aspirations?"

He is calling on the government to "soften the blow to an industry that has delivered amazing things in the last two years, cost reduction, job creation and mass engagement". He said, "We too want a sustainable industry moving forwards but this proposal, without adjustment, will not get us there."

The proposed project tariff rates are:

  • New builds, ?4 kW will receive 21 p/kWh instead of 37.8 p/kwh
  • Retrofits, ?4 kW will receive 21 p/kWh instead of 43.3 p/kwh
  • >4 to 10 kW will receive 16.8 p/kWh, instead of 37.8 p/kwh
  • >10 to 50 kW will receive 15.2 p/kWh, instead of 32.9 p/kwh
  • >50 to 100 kW will receive 12.9 p/kWh, instead of 19 p/kwh
  • >100 to 150 kW will receive 12.9 p/kWh, instead of 19 p/kwh
  • >150 to 250 kW will receive 12.9 p/kWh, instead of 15 p/kwh
  • >250kW to 5 MW will receive 8.9 p/kWh, instead of 8.5 p/kwh
  • Stand alone will receive 8.9 p/kWh, instead of 8.5 p/kwh