U.K. Residential PV Power System Installation Plunges on End of Subsidy

published: 2019-06-12 10:07 | editor: | category: News

In the wake of the end of the government's subsidy program, the installation volume of residential PV power systems in the U.K. plunged by 94% in April, 2019.

After years of thriving development of renewable energy, the U.K. government started to lessen its subsidy in 2015, as a result of which new PV power capacity dropped to an eight-year low in 2017.

As a result, the global ranking of the U.S. in renewable-energy investment had dropped to eighth place, from champion in the past, according to Ernst & Young.

In addition, the small-scale FiT (feed-in tariff) program will come to an end this year. Starting from April 1, subsidies in the forms of generation tariff and export tariff have been canceled, the former involving subsidy based on power output, whether for self use or not, and the latter requiring power supplying firms to purchase excess power generated by individual renewable-energy generators which are connected to the grid. The termination has dampened the interest of individuals to install their own renewable-energy generators, due to the loss of the incentive of lower power bills, although a residential PV power generator now costs only 6,000 pounds (NT$245,000), half the level in 2010.

The termination of subsidy has seriously impacted the renewable energy market, as the installation volume of residential PV power devices plummeted to 5 W in May, a far cry from 79 MW in March, according to the Labor Party, which noted that energy-related job openings have dropped by one third in recent years.   

The development has overshadowed the ability of the nation to fulfill its commitment of cutting its greenhouse-gas emission by 80% by 2025 or attain the target of net-zero greenhouse-gas emission (GHGs) by 2045, set by the U.K. Committee of Climate Change.

Since the launch of the small-scale FiT system in April 2010, 800,000 U.K. families have installed solar panels, to cut their power bills, while contributing to the reduction of carbon emission and the creation of thousands of job openings.

(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of Bernd Sieker via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)     

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