Solar power subsidies reduced

Published:  10 June, 2011

LONDON: Subsidies for large-scale solar power installations are to be cut drastically, the Government confirmed yesterday in its review of Feed-in Tariffs for renewable energy.

The reform will favour domestic and other small-scale installations of solar power up to 50kW - typically enough to cover several houses but not enough for some of the community-scale installations.

Greg Barker, minister of state for energy and climate change, said: "I want to drive an ambitious roll out of new green energy technologies in homes, communities and small businesses and the FiT scheme has a vital part to play in building a more decentralised energy economy."

Howard Johns, chairman of the UK's Solar Trade Association, said the move would cripple the UK's fledgling solar panel industry. "Crushing solar makes zero economic sense for UK plc because it will lose us major manufacturing opportunities, jobs and global competitiveness," he said.

From August, solar power installations between 50kW and 150kW capacity will receive 19p/kW-hour produced, down from 32.9p. Larger installations of up to 250kW will receive a reduced tariff of 15p/kW-hour and field-size installations of between 250kW and 5 megawatts of capacity will get half that, at 8.5p/kW-hour. Both larger sizes were previously paid 30.7p/kW-hour.

A further consultation on feed-in tariffs will be launched this summer, with more changes to the scheme to take effect from next April.

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