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Three feed-in tariff caps exceeded within one day

Posted by Anna Carlini on 17 February 2016 at 9:30 am

Three capacity caps were reached on the first day that new applications for the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) were assessed. The new caps, which came into force 8 February, limit the number of installations eligible to receive the given FiT rate in each quarter. If the maximum is reached, unsuccessful applicants must wait until the next quarter to qualify for the feed-in tariff. After a pause in January, the new FiT rate started 8 February at 0:00 and is intended to stay in place until 31 March. But by the end of day one three of the caps for the following technologies had been reached:

· stand-alone solar PV (solar farms)

· medium (50-100 kW) and large (100 - 1500 kW) wind 

· all anaerobic digestion 

The capacity bracket for anaerobic digestion was met within just 15 minutes, and by the end of the day had filled up nearly three times over. Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association said that this “shows just how much more green energy we could deliver if we weren’t being held back.” 

So what happens now? Well, those who did not qualify must wait until the next quarter. Any submitted applications will be “queued” and will not be approved until there is capacity later on.  Reaching the cap triggers the introduction of the degression rate, meaning that postponed applications will receive a lower generation tariff than successful ones. Therefore those who were not quick enough to qualify for this quarter will not only have to wait longer before installing their renewable energy system, but will receive less for the surplus electricity they produce. 

The nature of these new caps is that it is very difficult to predict which FiT will be received. Applicants are queued, but do not have an indication of where they are in the queue and installers do not know when the capacity will be reached. This unpredictability means that investors in the sector are apprehensive, and advancement towards an era of no government subsidies is uncertain.

Source: The chartered institution of wastes management

Image: Chandra Marsono


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