Following our recent blog post analysing the implications of the latest installed PV figures on the FIT budget for 2012-13, we've done some further digging and found out that DECC have done a brilliant homage to Sir Humphrey.
DECC have sneaked out an increase to the FITs budget spending envelope, by taking the money from the ROCs budget spending envelope, then claiming that it's neither an increase in the FIT budget spending envelope or a decrease in the ROC budget spending envelope despite the FIT budget going up, and the ROC budget* going down. This is because the ROC budget apparently always included money that was intended to have been in the FIT budget but they'd left it in the ROC budget because the dog ate it.
I say 'sneaked out' because they made no announcement about it, simply tucked the change away in a table and explanation note in the catchily titled 'Control Framework for DECC levyfunded spending Questions and Answers' released on the fuel poverty section of their website on the 8th December... a date when the entire industry was a wee bit busy to notice.
To be honest, we can't help but be impressed with this ingenius slight of hand, that at least means the FIT's scheme should stay within new budget for this year anyway. It gives us some hope that maybe DECC do have a reasonable handle on the figures and potentially could be able to find some extra envelope of the spending kind for FITs in the coming years.
Comparison of Previous and New FIT & ROC's Budget
|New Feed In Tariff budget||94||196||328||446||1064|
|Old Feed In Tariff budget||80||161||269||357||867|
|New Renewables Obligation budget||1750||2156||2556||3114||9576|
|Old Renewables Obligation budget||1764||2191||2615||3203||9773|
*figures in £million
While this is welcome news, unfortunately our calculations show that the FIT scheme is still going to be over budget by at least £75 million in 2012/13 just from the Solar PV installations registered by 18th December, but this is at least an improvement over the previous £161 million figure for the already committed overspend.
We can only hope that this is an indication that DECC are giving serious consideration to these budget figures, and will find a way to increase them in order to enable solar PV to continue to be installed at at least the rate it was in the last few months of 2011 (500MWp in 4 months, equatings to a rate of 1.5GWp per year).
In return, we as installers expect and would accept further cuts to the FIT rate in April and September as justified by the ongoing reductions in the panel and equipment costs. We recognise that FIT's purpose was both to stimulate the market for PV, and drive the costs down towards grid parity, and are happy to work in partnership with DECC to achieve both aims.
DECC's explanation of the budget changes in full...
Technical note on Levies Budgets
The spending limit for the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) scheme as originally published (and set out in the table below) referred to additional expenditure on installations of less than 5MW over and above the baseline of installations that would have happened anyway (because some installations would have come forward under the Renewables Obligation (RO)). We have now incorporated that baseline into the spending limit for FITs so that it is clear what the totalspending limit is for FITs and the RO. This technical adjustment to the published spending limits merely provides a more accurate picture of the money that was always available for installations above 5MW and for installations below 5 MW. We have not made more subsidy available for FITs or less for the RO
*we got bored. if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck, we reckon it actually ought to be called a duck, or in this case a budget.