Britain’s renewable future takes a beating

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DECC’s 70% reduction in feed-in-tariff halts development of solar power.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced government proposal this morning to cut feed-in-tariffs for large solar power developments by a massive 70%.

“The future of Britain’s development of solar energy has been totally destroyed,” said Ken Moss, the CEO of mO3 Power – the UK’s largest solar developer.

“At a stroke, all solar developments above 50kW have been rendered totally non-financeable. We had an opportunity to develop another renewable of low-carbon energy alongside wind and nuclear. That opportunity has been wiped out,” he said.

Mr Barker’s announcement followed the fast-tracked review of large scale solar feed-in-tariffs announced in February. Mr Moss said that he was of the opinion that the situation had arisen out of incompetence at DECC.

“Mr Barker presented the original DECC document to the Treasury without understanding the content of or the complexity of the FiT proposal. Through lack of understanding, he delivered a proposal with just enough tariff for domestic roof top, yet in October presented the CSR and said all was rosy in the garden for all the industry.

“Four weeks later he realised his mistake and insulted the large scale community calling us “gold diggers and speculators” at a micro generation rally, in an attempt to frighten us off. In the mean time, we have continued to invest millions into this industry on the basis we believed the government was committed to a multitude of renewable streams.

“The Treasury has backed the DECC into a corner and they haven’t got the whit or spirit to fight it and don’t believe solar is a main stream renewable source. This is contrary to Germany which has developed 18GW of peak solar over the last 10 years,” he said.

The announcement was made whilst David Cameron was making his speech in the Commons about Libya and follows on the back of global concern for over-dependence on nuclear electricity generation. The DECC recommendation includes a small increase in the tariff for domestic solar installations.

“If the DECC is serious about meeting Britain’s carbon reduction commitments with renewable energies they couldn’t possibly only be supporting domestic arrays,” said Mr Moss.

“The costs per kW obviously drop as the size of developments increases. With these proposals the DECC will be paying five times more for their solar generation. This is clearly a vote winner for the coalition!” said Mr Moss.

The DECC recommendations will enter an eight to twelve week consultation period before being presented to the House of Commons.

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