UK: FIT pre-accreditation to end on October 1

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The U.K. government has confirmed that it will press ahead with its proposal to end the feed-in tariff (FIT) pre-accreditation process for larger rooftop and small solar farms on October 1 in a move that has triggered yet more anger within the solar industry.

Just two weeks after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced its proposals to slash the FIT by up to 87%, the decision to end pre-accreditation – which served to ‘lock-in’ a FIT rate for bigger commercial solar roofs and small farms prior to any potentially lengthy and complex installations – strikes another blow for the small-scale solar sector in the U.K.

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, stated that DECC is taking action to "deal with the projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies" in a move that will provide "better control over spending" as the government continues to try to wrest back control of the Levy Control Framework (LCF).

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has stressed that just 16 out of the 2,372 respondents supported DECC’s proposal to scrap pre-accreditation, yet the government has once again ignored this "overwhelming opposition from across the renewables industry and beyond".

"Renewables and solar are all about giving power to the people – this is going in the opposite direction," said Leonie Greene, STA’s head of external affairs. "This removal of pre-accreditation and the devastating cuts to tariffs are both going against the tide of public opinion where 80% of people support solar power: more than any other technology."

Other critics have argued that maintaining the pre-accreditation would serve to protect consumers hoping to adopt solar, particularly small businesses that require a slightly larger installation, as well as community groups, schools and other organizations. Without that level of protection, many would-be projects may not go ahead, the industry has warned.