Feed-in rate announcement may be delayed
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 November 2009 at 4:07 pm
The much awaited results of the consultation on feed-in tariffs may take a little longer than hoped. Internal wrangling between government departments is to blame according to the Guardian, and it's not clear when we're going to find out.
Ed Milliband had apparently hoped to have the policy in place in early December, but his officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) say it won't be announced until January. Treasury officials still say that details are due to be released around the time of the pre-budget report on 9 December.
There's a range of views about who is to blame for the delays, and whether it's good or bad news. According to Alan Simpson, Miliband's special advisor on renewable energy, Ofgem and the energy companies are anti microgeneration: "they have created a cosy oligopoly which produces non-renewable energy and ever-spiralling prices". He also says that "the Treasury, Ofgem and government officials have driven this policy with a towering lack of ambition".
Industry representatives quoted in Business Green are more upbeat. "If there is a delay it suggests they are still debating the levels which were originally proposed," said an unnamed insider. "That could be a good sign as those tariffs were far too low and need increasing."
Of course, all this speculation is no help to existing microgenerators who are waiting to hear whether or not they will get a decent rate of feed-in tariff or the 9p rate proposed. It might be worth dropping Ed Miliband a note (the arguments for a higher rate for pioneers are on the equal cashback campaign page) to nudge the political will forward a bit. Or send him a tweet at @EdMilibandMP
Business Green's article finishes with some wisdom from Leonie Greene of the Renewable Energy Association, who agrees with Alan Simpson's point about the energy companies protecting their vested interests and lobbying against the proposals:
"The problem is that the government is focusing on the costs of the scheme and not looking at the benefits," she said. "In Germany in 2006, the feed-in tariff cost €3.3bn (£3bn) but the increased supply of renewables meant that the cost of wholesale electricity spot prices fell, saving the economy €5bn. That is before you consider all the other benefits in energy security, job creation and so on."
Photo by LanceCheungImages
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
5 comments - read them below or add one