William Frazer

The saga over the future of Feed-in Tarriff support for solar pv looks set to rumble on. DECC announced at the end of last month they will appeal against a ruling of the High Court that proposed plans to cut the FiT retrospectively were illegal. On 9  February, new Energy Secratary, Ed Davey, announced wide ranging reforms to Feed-in Tariff scheme.

Here we map out the saga so far and show how solar installations have effectively been stopped in their tracks.

The graph below shows how the tariff levels for solar PV have changed since the start of the Feed-in Tariff scheme in April 2010 and the proposed Option A scenario of support between July 2012 and April 2015, as set out in the consultation.

 

 

 

The graph below shows the number of solar PV systems installed over the past 12 months and how the government’s plans to cut support brought the market to a standstill.

 

Timeline of events

1 April 2010 – Feed-in Tariffs launched

7 Feb 2011 – DECC said it planned to carry out a “fast-track” review of support for large-scale solar, due to fears about the number of solar farms being built putting pressure on FiTs budget

18 March 2011 – Fast-track review consultation published – consultation was open until 6 May

9 June 2011 – Government confirmed it would go ahead with the proposed cuts to large-scale solar

1 August 2011 – Lower rates for large-scale solar came into effect. Industry rushed to get projects completed on time

31 October 2011 – DECC launched a consultation into dramatic cuts in support for smaller-scale solar, due to ongoing budgetary concerns. Cuts were due to come into effect from 12 December 2011, 11 days before the consultation closed on 23 December

12 December 2011 – Solar arrays installed after this date would receive the proposed lower FiT rate (roughly half the original tariff)

16 December 2011 – Campaigners won a judicial review of DECC’s handling of the latest Feed-in Tariffs consultation in the High Court

21 December 2011 – DECC said it would appeal the High Court decision

13 January 2012 – Court of Appeal was due to decide whether to hold a full hearing into DECC’s handling of FiTs consultation, but no decision was reached.

18 January – Chris Huhne issues statement online confirming FIT cuts will not fall below 21p/kwh for all systems completed between 12 December 2011 and 31 March this year

19 January – DECC lays before Parliament draft license modifications which regardless of appeal outcome will introduce the lower rate of FIT for all solar PV systems installed after 3 March

25 January – DECC loses its appeal against a High Court ruling which judged the retrospective cuts made to the FiT for solar PV at the end of last year illegal. DECC announce that they will take the appeal to the Supreme Court creating further uncertainty for the solar industry

03 February – Ed Davey is confirmed as the new secretary of state for energy and climate change, following the departure of Chris Huhne, over criminal charges.

 

09 February – DECC announce wide ranging reforms to the Feed-in Tariff support scheme for renewable energy, including more cuts in support to solar from 1 July 2012, the inclusion of a new multi-installation tariff, a requirement for all buildings with roof mounted solar panels to have a Category D Energy Performance Certificate, a proposed option to review tariffs every two months, and a proposed cut in support from 25 to 20 years.