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Feed in Tariff Consultation Unveiled
DECC's Feed in Tariff Consultation has the aim of Cooling the Solar PV Market

November 2011, Cambridge, UK

On Monday 31st October, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published its consultation on the Feed in Tariff (FIT) for photovoltaic solar systems.

The consultation proposes significant cuts to the tariff with the goal of putting the FIT on a more sustainable footing.

The consultation is due to close on 23 December; however the changed tariff levels come into force for systems with an Eligibility Date on or after 12 December 2011.

Current and Proposed Generation Tariffs for Solar PV

Band
Current Generation Tariff (p/kWh)

Proposed Generation Tariff (p/kWh)

< 4kWp (new buid)
37.8
21.0
<4kWp (retrofit)
43.3
21.0
4-10 kWp
37.8
16.8
10 - 50 kWp
32.9
15.2
50-100 kWp
19
12.9
100-150 kWp
19
12.9
150-250 kWp
15
12.9
250 - 5000 kWp
8.5
8.5
Stand Alone
8.5
8.5

The Eligibility Date is the date on which the FIT Licensee receives a request for accreditation from the system owner. For systems under 50kWp, the installation must be MCS accredited and the application must include the MCS certificate.

Multi-installation Generators

The consultation also proposes changes aimed at multi-installation generators. This category would include councils and social landlords that install at large scale but with multiple small systems, as well as so-called "rent-a-roof" or "PV for free" schemes where an installation company puts PV on a roof, the resident benefitting from the electricity, but the installer collecting the FIT payment. Such schemes can yield efficiencies of scale, and to take this into account DECC is proposing a new tariff set at 80% of the generation tariff in the table above.

Linking with Energy Efficiency Measures

In addition to changing the tariff levels, DECC is proposing an energy efficiency requirement for FITs for solar PV. In order to be eligible to claim the tariff levels in the table above, the building owner would need to demonstrate that the building either:

  • Achieves a level C or higher in an energy performance certificate (EPC) - calculated after the proposed PV installation.
  • Has had all improvements implemented which are identified as qualifying for a Green Deal finance arrangement.

PV systems with an Eligibility Date after 1 April 2012 supplying buildings that do not meet this requirement would qualify for a lower rate of 9p/kWh unless the building was brought up to this level of efficiency before 31 March 2013.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended as a summary of the proposed changes to the Feed In Tariff for photovoltaic solar systems in the UK. It is not a subsitute for reading the document in its entirety.

© Viridian Concepts Ltd. Viridian Solar is a trading name of Viridian Concepts Ltd, 68 Stirling Way, Papworth, Cambridgeshire. CB23 3GY.