Huhne keen to progress with FiTs

Published:  03 March, 2011

CORNWALL: During a fact-finding trip to the South West, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that the early review of the solar Feed-in Tariff was ordered to prevent a 'boom and bust' scenario.

Mr Huhne explained that the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) review would mean the renewable energy industry progressed "sensibly and sustainably".

In an interview with the Western Morning News, Mr Huhne said: "We have to make sure the really big developers who were coming in with massive schemes don't snaffle all of the pot of FiT money available.

"The key to solar energy is not to stop the industry, but to make sure it grows in a sustainable way at the small-scale micro-generation level.

"We don't know which technologies are going to be the real winners; which will be the low-cost answers and which won't. That is one of the main points of this visit to the South West.

"The key objective of the solar FiT is protected, so any installation below 50kW – so small village halls, schools and homeowners - is completely unchanged. It goes ahead completely as announced to make sure the industry develops in a sensible, measured way," he concluded.

Adrian Lea, manager of the Natural Resources Planning Team at Cornwall Council said: "The solar irradiation levels in Cornwall are among the best in the UK and it is unsurprising that Cornwall is experiencing huge interest in solar PV development. Such interest has been accelerated by the Feed-in Tariff and it would be deeply unfortunate if any review of the tariff levels resulted in a failure of the solar PV industry to develop an established and sustainable foothold within the Wouth West."

The Energy Minister's trip to the South West coincided with the launch of the Power to Society internet campaign designed to lobby ministers into abandoning its FiT review, as well as news that some companies have sought legal advice following the Government's backtracking over the scheme.

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