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55,000 responses to Feed-in Tariff consultation, 2600 unique and detailed

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 24 November 2015 at 10:15 am

The Government response to the Feed-In Tariff consultation is now going to be published ‘in due course’. Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State at DECC, confirmed that the consultation which was launched on 27th August and closed on 23rd October had received nearly 55,000 responses.  Although she went on to explain that many of these had been generated by campaigns and were ‘more uniform’, she did say that just over 2,600 were unique and provided detailed responses.

Clearly analysis of these responses will take some time, but Ms Leadsom did explain that DECC are currently ‘evaluating the responses received’.  It is times like these when I wonder how much weight can be given to public opinion and how much must be left to government to make decisions.  Many of these decisions are hard to take and must take account of many different perspectives, many different potential outcomes and many different potential beneficiaries or casualties. We have to bear in mind that the Feed-in Tariff subsidies which those of us fortunate enough to be able to afford Solar PV end up in one way or another on everyone’s energy bills and that means that those who are already worst of find that they are subsidising the better off.  Well, that’s a criticism used by some to justify the cutting of the tariffs.

What I don’t understand is that if the government sees the inequality of the situation they should perhaps change the situation rather than remove the subsidy altogether. They should be looking at the bigger picture. How many jobs in the UK are now related to the installation of PV systems? How much renewable energy are we generating? Where does all that VAT go (even though its only at 5%)? And they need to look at the other side of the coin.  Who will employ all those who are made redundant following the swingeing cuts? Who will install Renewable Energy systems without the incentives?

To me this seems like a short-sighted decision and, it appears, that 55,000 other people agree with me (well actually some of them could have agreed with DECC, but I doubt there were too many of those).

So, once DECC have read, analysed, cogitated and digested we will wait with bated breath to see if they go for 1.67/kWp or scrap it altogether. I know where my money is.


Photo: Policy Exchange

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