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11 Nov, 2011

Solar energy FIT subsidy cut: CBI complains along with Local Government Association, Friends of the Earth

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: Energy|Government Schemes|regulations|Renewable energy|roofing|Solar devices|Solar power|solares|Sustainable power

The Conservative government’s decision to more than halve the FIT (feed-in tariffs) for electricity put back into the grid (from sources such as solar power) from 43 to 21p per kilowatt hour, as reported here on Building DIY previously, has been attacked by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) as disastrous for the solar and micro-generation industry.

Apart from cancelled schemes, this government reversal of strategy “because it is too successful” creates uncertainty for investors – who will then ethically invest abroad.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (a misnomer if ever there was one) say they have to more than halve the FOT subsidy to “protect” it.

That is assuming a relatively tiny pot of money that can never be increased, only decreased. Since all governments of whatever stripe proclaim their green-ness these days, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (to mix metaphors). Both Labour and Conservative (and by extension the Lib-Dems) are not green at all, it is just a fashionable con, with a reluctant obedience to targets set in the EC.

We here used to build eco houses, before the crash of 2007. Then, we fitted Solar PV panels, which used to get a 50% government subsidy on the installation and hardware costs, with a complex application process of course, but there was no FIT (feed-in tariffs, payment for excess energy produced into the grid).

FIT is used in Europe a lot, but was ignored over here even though the entire alternative energy industry wanted it – because too successful.

Anyway that 50% subsidy for installation was also cancelled as too popular. In that system, there was always a rush at the start of the month, as applications had to get in before they maxed out.

What an appallingly stupid system – so the Conservatives are only carrying on a grand UK tradition of loud pro-green noises and quiet cancellations and downward revisions.


Note: we will be adding a DIY Solar Photovoltaic panel section soon – how to make your own panel and save a huge amout of money.

See our sections on:

Solar Energy and Power Advice and Tips>

Green Building advice and Tips >

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