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UK to Cut FiT for Small-scale PV Installations

published: 2014-11-10 16:28

Ofgem confirmed in a document that UK will revise down the feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidies for solar installation since next January. Tariff bands under 50kW will decrease by 3.5%.

According to Solar Power Portal, a solar-industry-focused media in the UK, the minimum automatic degression has been enacted after installations in the <50kW bands failed to trigger any automatic degressions. The current FiT rates for solar installations and rates for after January 1st, 2015 will be:

Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association (STA), told Solar Power Portal: “Another nine months have gone by and with them another forced degression. It is a concern for the domestic and commercial rooftop market that deployment isn’t stronger, particularly following the anticipated growth for 2014.”

UK has replaced Germany’s leadership in PV installation in Europe this year. With 103MW of new installations simply in the third quarter, it is estimated that the total installation in stand-alone and rooftop solar PV segments will both surpass 2GW to nearly 4GW in total. During the first quarter of 2015, ground-mounted solar installations are expected to overtake rooftop capacity.

The strong demand in UK’s domestic market seems to continue for a period and Barwell suggested the UK government to “do more to get the market growing, by removing the barriers to growth and changing the policy framework.” The STA has recognized its “Path to Zero Subsidy” as part of the association’s Solar Independence Plan.

At the same time, UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that the government’s Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) scheme for ground-mounted solar PV systems larger than 5MW will be closed at the end of March, 2015. This indicates an installation peak in 4Q14 and 1Q15, and a rapid decrease beginning from April, 2015. Yet solar PV projects smaller than 5MW will remain eligible for ROCs.

“The latest strategy from the government shows increased support for commercial rooftops, with concrete measures to be presented next year. However, the details remain unclear, and the elections in 2015 could further delay any new measures,” noted Solar Industry Magazine.


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