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Tariff closure confirmation dismays renewable energy industry

Words: Huw Morris

The renewables industry has expressed dismay at confirmation of government plans to end the financial initiative that supports small green schemes.

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) was launched in 2010 to provide payments to owners of small-scale renewable generators at a fixed rate per unit of electricity produced, ensuring that the cost of installation is recouped over the lifetime of the generator. As the cost of renewables has plummeted over the past eight years, this fixed rate payment has fallen by up to 90 per cent.

The 2015 government review said the current FiT scheme would close in April 2019. The government promised to set out its policy on post-2019 support for small-scale renewables more than a year ago but this has been repeatedly delayed, causing huge uncertainty for companies in the sector, according to RenewablesUK, which represents about 400 organisations.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed the scheme’s closure while calling for evidence on potential new policies for small-scale renewables.

RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said the confirmation is a major blow to small-scale renewables across the country. The industry has been “waiting, at great cost” for more than a year for the government to start consultations.

“The government has known the FiT would be closing for three years and the fact that they are only now beginning the conversation about new policies is far too little, far too late for many companies,” she added.

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