Partial victory for UK solar industry, huge job losses still expected

Following months of consultation and strong lobbying on the part of the solar industry, the U.K. Department of Climate Change (DECC) has today released the new FIT rates for renewables.

Hailed a partial victory by industry, the cuts will not be as severe as originally planned (see table below), although the new quarterly cap introduced could prove damaging, says the Solar trade association (STA). The cuts will come into effect on February 8, 2016, with the deadline for projects to receive the current higher tariffs now January 15. A total of £100 million has been made available for FITs.

Adopted FITs (p/kWh)

Proposed FITs (p/kWh)

Current FITs (p/kWh)

0-10kW 4.39

1.63

12.47 <4kW

10-15kW 4.59

3.69

11.30 4-50kW

50-250kW 2.70

2.64

9.63 50-150kW

9.21 150-250kW

250-1,000kW 2.27

2.28

5.94 250-5,000kW

>1MW 0.87

1.03

5.04

Standalone 0.87

1.03

4.287

Newly introduced are the quarterly caps on installation amounts (see following table). STA says there are "serious concerns" over the cost control mechanism. Specifically, it believes it could lead to "damaging stop-starts in the market."

"The Government has put maximum caps on the total amount of solar it wants to see installed in every quarter. This could be very damaging, although they do appear to have taken on board requests for unused capacity to be recycled from one quarter to another and a queuing system for projects that don’t get in on time," it comments in a statement released.

Max. deployment(MW)

2016

2017

2018

2019

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

PV

<10 kW

48.4

49.6

50.6

51.7

52.8

53.8

54.2

55.9

57.0

58.0

59.1

60.1

61.1

10-50 kW

16.5

17

17.4

17.8

18.2

18.6

18.7

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