The UK government has published a new consultation discussing proposals to close Feed-in Tariffs and export tariffs for renewables.

The Solar Trade Association (STA) is now calling for clarity on what will happen if tariffs are closed, urging the government to work with the industry to provide a sustainable solution.

The Call for Evidence comes despite UK’s heatwave helping solar achieve new records. Between 21st-28th June, solar saw more than 75GWh of energy created, with over 8HW of power each day for eight consecutive days. In particular, 24th June saw solar PV generate more than 27% of electricity for the UK grid for around one hour.

Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs were introduced in UK in 2010, providing households that produce their own renewable energy with a cash payment. As Which? explains, the rates were cut several times and, since January 2016, FIT rates for new installations have been cut every three months. Caps were also brought in on the number of installations which can receive payments.

FIT scheme would be closed to new applicants from April 2019

According to proposals, the FIT scheme would be closed to new applicants from April 2019. One exception would be for installations that are commissioned and have a full MCS certificate that is issued before 31st March 2019, such as new-build homes, which would have until 31st January 2020 to apply.

In its recommendations, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) put forward the notion of closing the generation tariffs and removing export tariffs. As PV Magazine notes, this means that homeowners will not receive payment for electricity they supply to the grid.

FIT Scheme praised for supporting introduction to solar

The STA praised the FIT scheme for supporting the deployment of solar in the country, and criticised the government’s lack of clarity on what happens next.

CEO of the association, Chris Hewett, commented: “There is real dismay that there is now a serious and needless policy gap between the end of FITs and the start of the new regime. We are, therefore, asking the government to work with us and with the industry as a matter of urgency to fill that gap and ensure a smooth transition next March.”

If you would like to better understand the implications of the consultation and the options which currently exist for your business to generate your own clean, green solar electricity before the Feed-in Tariff disappears for good, please get in touch or 01202 862760.