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Response to feed-in consultation will make a real difference

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 March 2012 at 11:33 am

"This is a genuine consultation," says Alex Weir, senior policy advisor, feed-in tariff review, DECC. "We are really interested to know what the costs [of installing solar PV] are and how they are changing. It is in everyone's interests that costs and tariffs come down together."

Speaking at the Solar Power UK roadshow, Coping with the Cuts, Weir explained how the rapid fall in costs of solar PV have totally blown the FiT budget. "It will cost £450m per year for the next 25 years," he said. "On budget terms alone it should have shut. For a sustainable future, the feed-in tariff must not divert from costs [of installation]".

DECC minister Greg Barker has declared an aim of 22GW of solar PV in the UK by 2020 in the new consultations issued last month. Weir explained that this is an ambition and not a target. "It depends on costs coming down at a pace that make it affordable."

"There is no desire to continue supporting any technology if costs aren't coming down. Tariffs for all technologies will reduce every year. How much depends on costs." DECC will not put feed-in tariff rates up if costs haven't fallen as much as expected, but Weir said it is possible that they could pause planned degression.

So it is really important that both industry and those interested in the future of feed-in tariffs respond to the consultation. Deadlines are 3 April for 2a on solar PV, and 23 April for the wider consultation on the feed-in tariff.

Photo by Andreas Demmelbauer

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