July 20 (Solar) – The feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme for small-scale renewables in the UK is to close to new applications on March 31, 2019, and the government is now seeking views on what is needed to support such sources beyond 2019.
A consultation on the proposed closure of the FiT programme closes on September 13. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) plans to end the export tariff alongside the generation tariff on at the end of March, which would mean full closure of the FiT for new projects.
The end of the FiT scheme was decided back in 2015 and is no surprise for the sector. According to trade association RenewableUK, however, the fact that the government repeatedly delayed work on a policy to back small-scale renewables after 2019 has caused significant uncertainty for companies in the sector.
“The Government has known the FiT would be closing for three years and the fact that they are only now beginning the conversation about new policies is far too little, far too late for many companies,” said Emma Pinchbeck, executive director at the association.
A call for evidence has been launched by the BEIS to help it determine what, if any, further action is needed to support small-scale renewables after the FiT is no longer available. The government seeks evidence of the benefits such projects offer to the electricity system and UK consumers.
“Government’s view is that small-scale low-carbon electricity generation, where it is on balance beneficial to government’s objectives and the electricity system, should compete independent of direct subsidy and on its own merits on a level playing field with other electricity generation technologies through competitive, market-based solutions,” the document states. It is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/727138/Call_for_evidence-Future_SSLCG.pdf.