Friday, 4 November 2011

Petition to Stop Cuts to Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs

On 31st October 2011 the Department for Energy and Climate Change proposed to cut feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar energy generation from 43.3p to 21p, a drop of over 50%. This cut would affect retrofit installations of less than 4kW. Cuts proposed to FITs in other generation capacities were similarly drastic. We petition the government to withdraw this proposal and halt their attempt to cut FITs across all capacities, but especially below 4kW. These cuts would be highly destructive to the solar energy industry, which as a new sector is highly vulnerable to drastic market changes. If the plan is passed, it will jeopardise the 25,000 jobs directly linked to the industry, not to mention put terrific strain on at least ten times as many that that supply the industry such as manufacturers, movers, scaffolders, electricians, plumbers, web developers and stationers.

Solar has been too successful - that's why tariffs were cut

The premature FIT cuts are going to wreck green industry and damage the case for community and business schemes.


digitaltoast said...

No point posting comments if they don't get published so I'll keep it brief but...

Can you find me ANY physicist, economist or engineer who couldn't find a better way to spend the £8.2bn which will be transferred from those most likely to be in fuel poverty to those able to afford the investment?

Given that it's the most unreliable, inefficient, least-carbon-saving, most expensive per-tonne way of "reducing" carbon, and given that it generates an unstorable product at precisely the time it's not needed, and none when it is (5pm on a December's evening), no wonder even George Monbiot is so vehemently against the FiT.

The solar PV lobby is very large, very powerful, and very well funded. You appear to be swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

weggis said...

1. If the Solar PV lobby is so powerful why is FiT being cut?

2. You may not be able to store electricity but you can store energy. WTF do you think Fossil Fuels are? They are stored energy captured from the Sun over millions of years. You just have to convert the electricity into a storable product for when it is needed. We do it all the time.

Schoolboy Physics, or perhaps you majored on Needlework?

Adrian Windisch said...

The current government policy is not green, so dont expect Greens to support it. Ofshore wind is much more expensive to build than onshore, but there are few Nimbys out at sea to complain.

Greens want insulation, reduce reuse then recycle for more than just rubbish.

FiT does help to level the playing field, fossil fuels dont need research costs, new green tech does. Unlike fosil fuel renewables will last for future generations.

digitaltoast said...

Weggis: Okey doke, have a read of the chapter starting at and tell me which of the multi-£billion hugely expensive highly-carbon intensive schemes you'd opt for, and why.

And no, I didn't "major in needlework". I've got two years experience at the National Grid on the electricity network and have toured Didcot (coal), Sizewell (Nuclear), Hoover Dam in the USA (hydro), one of the world's largest wind turbine farms near Palm Springs (USA) and a geothermal facility in New Zealand, (and I got the pics to prove it too - except Sizewell, no cameras!).

So, I think I might just have picked up a little knowledge about the subject... but hey, I'm just basing my figures on real-world usage, provision and requirement patterns. What do I know...

As for point 1, the FiT is being cut because people have finally worked out that transferring £8.2bn from poor to rich for almost zero effect isn't a good idea.

Let me help you with your research:

weggis said...


“needlework” was a pun on “to annoy” :) Sometimes I’m just too subtle.

I’ll pass on the newspaper and blog links thanks, I have access to the IET members website. Been retired for 15 years so maybe a little rusty. But to answer your question;

There are no easy options here. But in the long term we have to go renewable.

Most of our carbon emissions are due to heating using gas. What we are talking about here is electricity to keep our lights and gadgets going.

You will know that it is gaming that has driven advances in computer technology. Just as mobility has driven advances in Mobile phones and laptops/iPads. This is partly due to battery technology but mostly due to designing out heavy energy usage.

I predict that the high cost of energy will do the same with all our other appliances. There is no reason why we should not charge our TV/lights during the day and use them at night, other than the will, or necessity, to do so.

FiT for all its failings was an attempt to kickstart this process before we run into trouble.

The side of the coin you, and the paper you linked to, have not addressed is behaviour change. Changing the way we use energy is perhaps more significant than the way we generate it.

We need to go down this road so that we can also stop using Gas and Oil. Burning Oil is a criminal waste. Oil is the basis for the plastics industry without which – no computers and no web designers!

howard thomas said...

Offshore is obviously more expensive Adrian, however there is more wind at sea!
Presumably you are talking job losses at UK manufacturers. Please tell who these companies are , because as far as I am aware these PV panels are made in the far east, ie Korea /China and even the mounting systems are made in Germany ! Scaffolders,electricians...........Agreed.
Plumbers ???
Web Developers/Stationers ...maybe?

And then back to a point from a previous post.......bearing in mind that green energy generation is expensive, and is helping to push up the cost of power, would anyone like to try to explain how green power does not push more and more people into 'fuel poverty'?
Government policy on this topic could be described as 'disorganised' and I would think I have been generous with that !

Adrian Windisch said...

Plenty of wind on or near the coast, weak piliticians fear if nimbys mean we are wasting money. This makes renrwabkes more expensive than they should be, gives them a bad rep. Blame the politicians from the three big parties who dont care about long term solutiins.