July FIT cuts - analysis of the March-April solar PV figures
It looks like we misinterpreted th figures, and DECC proposed to reference only the installation figures from 4th March-end of April 2012 to determine the FIT cuts, so the installations up to the 3rd March FIT cut shouldn't count. If this is the case, then the figures should be well into the lowest band, and the proposed 1st July FIT cut should be the smaller of the 3 proposed options for the cuts with <4kW installations moving from 21p to 16.8p per kWh.
In the phase 2a consultation document DECC laid out their plans for a further cut in the Feed In Tariff rate from 1st July 2012, with the level of that cut being based upon the capacity of solar PV with eligibility dates in 4th March to end of April 2012.
DECC gave 3 bands for the installation rates in that period that would lead to different FIT reductions as follows;
Option A = over 200MW installed,
Option B = 150-200MW installed,
Option C = under 150MW installed
Proposed Feed In Tariff rates for Solar PV from July 1st 2012
|FIT rates in p / kWh||4kW||4-10kW||10-50kW||50-150kW||150-250kW||250kW-5MW||
Analysis of the March-April PV installation figures
Our analysis of the latest Solar PV installation figures up to 29th April (from 3rd March) shows that the capacity of solar PV registered with MCS between 1st March-29th April is almost certain to be in the below 150MW range, resulting in the FIT rates given for Option C in the table above if DECC go ahead with their plans as stated in the consultation document.
Given the massive reduction in the installation rate since the start of April, with less installations registered in the entire month than were being registered per day in the week before the 3rd March deadline we can only join the urgent call from Our Solar Future for DECC to urgently reconsider their position, and either delay or scrap their planned 30th June cuts.
We believe that the solar industry is viable now with the current FIT rates, once the impact of the EPC requirements and the negative perception surrounding the reduced rates dies down, but the industry needs time to get back on our feet after the chaos of the last few months.
We particularly need time to adapt to the new EPC requirements, which considerably add to the time and costs required for many installations that need additional energy efficiency work carried out, as well as the lost work involved in quotes for buildings that simply can't meet the EPC D requirements.
We accept that further cuts could be justified in the future, but not until October at the earliest.
This is particularly the case now that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been delayed until the Spring, as we and many others in the industry had been relying on the previously planned Autumn launch of RHI to provide a boost to that side of our business to reduce the impact of any FIT cuts on the business as a whole. This is a factor that the industry wasn't aware of when responding to the consultation about the FIT cuts as the RHI delay wasn't announced until the end of the consultation period.
What can you do to help?
We would urge everyone who agrees with this position to write to their MP, and DECC, as well as signing the letter issued by Our Solar Future at the links below
Write to your MP : http://www.writetothem.com/
Sign Our Solar Future's letter to the Prime Minster >here
note - a previous version of this post wrongly included the figures for 1-3rd March, which would have taken these figures into the rage for Option B. We now understand that these figures are not to be taken into account by DECC according to the terms in the consultancy document.
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