Call to halt UK FIT degression


U.K. Energy regulator Ofgem has revealed the rate paid for non-domestic (more than 50 kW) solar installations will automatically fall from 7.1p/kWh (US$0.10) to 6.85p/kWh in May, regardless of the amount of capacity installed.

Trade body STA says even the higher rate has failed to encourage large-scale commercial and industrial installations with just 9 MW added in the 250 kW to 5 MW sector since August, and 6 MW of community solar in that time. Paul Barwell, the CEO of STA said, "I urge Ofgem and DECC not to degress these FIT bands in May."

With ministers considering whether to increase the maximum capacity for which FITs are available under the U.K. government's Energy Bill, the STA says there are more pressing concerns.

The trade body says more urgency should be paid to making the large rooftop sub sector of solar (installations up to 1.5 MW) eligible for FITs rather than placing it under the Renewables Obligation (RO) as it currently is.

"While DECC has sought to recognize the large-roof sub sector under the RO," added Barwell, "the FIT is the best mechanism for actors in the commercial, public and community sectors, who need a user-friendly support scheme. We're in danger of developing an illogical and messy policy framework if we don't deal with the obvious failures under the existing scheme."

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