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Tag: Greg Barker (page 1 of 2)

DECC confirms FIT (Feed-in Tariff) changes to be 1st August

At the Ministerial announcement in the House of Commons today, Greg Barker laid out plans for the changes to the Feed-in Tariff to apply from the 1st August 2012

Changes to solar Feed-in Tariffs

Tariffs for solar pv installations to be reduced from 1 August:

  • 16p/kWh for household scale solar pv installations to reflect fall in cost of the technology, delivering a return of about 6% for a typical installation.
  • Tariffs for larger installations also to be reduced to reflect cost reductions but with most tariff cuts lower than proposed in February.
  • Reductions to apply to new installations from 1 August, instead of 1 July as proposed, in recognition of low uptake from 1 April and providing time for industry to adapt.

Multi installation tariff increased to 90% of standard tariff

  • Organisations with more than 25 solar pv installations will get 90% of the standard applicable tariff, increased from 80%, reflecting new evidence on costs involved for these projects.

Reduction in tariffs over time in line with uptake of FITs scheme

  • Ensuring solar PV is not over subsidised.
  • Average tariff reductions of 3.5% every 3 months, reductions will be bigger (up to 28%) if there is rapid uptake.
  • Tariff cuts will be skipped (for up to 2 quarters) if uptake is low.
  • Uptake in 3 different bands (domestic (size 0-10kW), small commercial (10-50kW) and large commercial (above 50kW and standalone installations) will determine the quarterly reductions within those bands.

Increase export tariff from 3.2p to 4.5p/kWh

  • To better reflect the real value of electricity exported to the grid.

RPI index-linking of generation tariffs to be retained

  • Reflecting the high value investors place on this element of the FITs scheme.

Scheme lifetime reduced from 25 to 20 years for new solar installations

  • Reducing the lifetime costs of the scheme and bring solar in line with most other technologies supported under FITs.

Tariffs for installations which do not meet the energy efficiency requirements will mirror the tariffs for standalone installations

  • Ensuring energy efficiency is still encouraged as tariffs are reduced.

Window opens for Businesses to benefit from Solar PV Feed-In Tariff as DECC delays cuts to FITs

In a bizarre move by DECC last night, Greg Barker, Minister for Climate Change tweeted “Having listened carefully to industry, we are looking at scope for pushing back a little the next proposed reduction in the #solar tariffs” he then followed that up this morning with another tweet “we are listening carefully to industry & full details of new much improved FITs regime will be published v shortly”

So what does it mean?

In simple terms DECC should have announced the details of the originally proposed cut to the Feed-In Tariff by Monday of this week in order to meet the regulatory timescales, they didn’t.  That means that the earliest any change to the Feed-In Tariff could be brought in is mid-July. In practice one of two things will happen, either it will simply be put back month, or more likely, they will keep it as it is and then introduce a slightly lower cut than planned in October, so missing out completely this interim cut.

i.e – You have another month to get your business approval to get the Solar PV installed, or maybe even another 3 months.

So what should you do NOW?

Simple get on with it, if you had plans for just one installation – do it NOW, we are already seeing pressures on some materials supplies as other parts of Europe also see FIT changes at the same time.  If you had been considering multiple schemes, get the finance put in place, and get the DNO applications in!

The Sweet Spot!

Right now, the way the Feed-In Tariff is structured, the best returns are for systems of 10kWp, 50kWp and 250kWp, that will change with the next review of FITs so don’t delay. To find out if you have premises suitable for installing a Solar PV system, it’s potential size and ROI, just give us a call on 01386 871490, and we’ll be able to quickly assess the potential for you with no obligation. – Speak Soon.

Greg Barker’s Speech for Solar Power UK

Greg Barker’s Speech for Solar Power UK

27 October 2011

Check Against Delivery


Five years ago I wrote Power to the People. A pamphlet urging a radical shift to a far more decentralised local energy economy.

A shift away from the dominance of a few energy giants towards a diverse, innovation rich energy sector.  A new vision of energy generation that empowers homes, businesses and communities.

Since then, all that I have seen and all that I have learned, first as an Opposition spokesman and now as a Minister in Government, has reinforced my strongly held belief that the successful energy models of the 21st Century will be far more decentralised, local and flexible.

Decentralised energy drives innovation. Decentralised energy fosters a wide range of low carbon technologies. Successful decentralised energy economies promote choice and competition.

Power to the people, I called my pamphlet in Opposition. Power to the people we are determined to deliver in Government.

But my determination to drive this new cleaner, greener model of consumer empowering energy generation has to be seen in the wider context of the Coalition’s wider green agenda. We are determined not just to drive down carbon emissions but to build a successful, thriving, prosperous low carbon economy.

Last year, the Prime Minister pledged that this historic Coalition would be the “greenest Government ever”.

16 months on, I am here today to tell you that the Coalition will deliver on that pledge. Judge us on our record.

  • £3 billion for the new Green Investment Bank
  • Royal Assent for the Energy Act that will unleash the Green Deal, a World first programme to drive the biggest housing retrofit scheme since the Second World War
  • £860 million in the Spending Review for FITs
  • £860 million for the world’s first RHI
  • £4.6 billion for science and research programmes, including key support for low carbon technologies 
  • £1 billion for the World’s most ambitious Carbon Capture and Storage programme
  • Our radical proposals for Electricity Market Reform will open up the market to new players, new technologies and make Britain the Saudi Arabia of off-shore wind
  • And in Whitehall we not only committed to the 10/10 campaign, we slashed our own emissions by 13.8% in 12 months

This Government is walking the walk.

And since that election, we’ve made a start at rebalancing the architecture of Britain’s electricity supply, bringing power to the people and allowing them to generate their own electricity on their homes, their schools, their work places.

Over 100,000 homes now generate some of their energy from their own renewable power stations. And to date solar has been by far the most popular technology with consumers. It’s easy to see why: it’s simple, accessible, reliable and fits discreetly into homes and communities.

But this is just the start. I’m personally committed to ensuring that your industry can prosper in the longer term, sustaining green jobs at a critical time for our economy, jobs that people can build a career on. Jobs that can help drive the recovery and show that Britain can lead the way in low carbon innovation and small scale renewables.

This room holds representatives from the whole UK supply chain. From manufacturers to inverter companies, from installers to retailers and financiers, all of you employing people and all of you helping to drive out the message that decentralised energy is available, affordable and easily obtained.

Solar PV has delivered by far the most installations through FITs so far, and I hope that the other technologies can learn from the incredible growth your part of the industry has seen. I am a strong advocate of solar in the right locations but I also want to see a strong spread of UK renewable technologies benefiting from the FIT.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Much of the growth in PV has been as much about consumers accessing the Government backed tariff as accessing the technology. High net worth individuals chasing returns which are now easily reaching double figures at a time when interest rates for savers have collapsed to an historic low. That can’t be right. And I know responsible voices in the industry have been worried about this for some time.


So, however convinced we may be of the long term potential of this exciting technology, we have to face up to the economic reality that ever other sector of the economy is challenged by.

The Green Economy does not exist in a bubble. Yet the subsidised returns we have seen on solar PV investments – funded from consumer energy bills – are unsustainable at a time when National Savings have pulled their index linked bonds, interest on savings accounts has plummeted and the stock market has dropped.

And of course, we will all be watching our energy bills this winter. This is the new reality, and it is in this light that we must consider the future for this industry. We have seen boom and bust in solar right across Europe. We have to make sure that UK solar has a steadier, clearer, sustainable growth path, that justifies the subsidy from all consumers, demonstrates clear value for money versus other low carbon forms of generation and can show a clear path to grid parity.

I know that that Solar PV is a transformative technology, easy to understand, quick to install and completely reliable. But critically, PV costs have plunged since the tariff levels were set, down by as much as 70% in 2 years according to Bloomberg. At rates like that, this sector should demonstrate clearly and openly that it is passing on these exciting and dramatic price reductions to consumers. So the tariff levels need to reflect these new prices. By using these incredible cost reductions, the most dramatic of any energy generating technology, you can build a compelling case for grid parity, not as a concept but as a reality. I believe solar is already well on the way to that destination.

But there is a delicate balancing act to perform to avoid boom and bust, as shown by the bubbles in countries like Italy, Spain and France, fuelled by over generous feed in tariffs.

The Coalition inherited a slow, unresponsive and misinformed scheme but I still believe passionately that Feed-in tariffs are essential.


Around the world, many look to Germany as the birthplace of feed-in tariffs. Germany got many aspects of their FITs scheme right – I know that and you all know that. That is why I want our FIT to take the best learning from Germany and apply it to the UK. I have been there myself to talk to senior Ministers and industry practitioners. But they will also tell you their system is not perfect and many worry about the embedded cost of the FIT system.

We will consult later in the year on how we respond to market changes and assess PV costs and take up on a regular basis, and revise our tariffs accordingly. Industry is critical to this process. We want to work with you to agree the future path of tariff reduction, take politics out of the sector and deliver what I believe the industry needs and what the last Administration’s scheme failed to deliver: T.L.C. not tender loving care but transparency, longevity and certainty.

We fought hard and won a good settlement of over £860m in the spending review to subsidise small scale FITs, an extraordinary achievement as we grapple with the deficit and consumers struggle with rising energy bills.

The challenge now is to use that public investment to obtain the widest possible deployment. I don’t want a tariff that gives bumper returns to a lucky few but a tariff that incentivises sensible deployment, in the right place, on the right buildings in the greatest numbers.

We have got to make the FIT more intelligent, more nimble, more dynamic and responsive to market development and crucially, better value for money. But I can’t do that on my own. I need your help.


The FITs Scheme has to live within the budget, so while I welcome the fantastic success of the scheme, with over 100,000 installations representing more than 305 MW of installed capacity you don’t have to be a Nobel prize winning economist to realise that solar is burning through the budget at an unsustainable rate.

So we will be launching a consultation very shortly that focuses on addressing the budgetary problem. I believe that Solar PV can have a strong and vibrant future in the UK, and making changes are vital if we are to ensure a lasting FITs scheme to support that future. We have inherited a scheme in the UK that wasn’t fit for purpose, so now we must do the same in order to preserve it.

Yes, the decisions we need to take are tough. I know that many of your businesses depend on the FITs levels for your success, at least in the short term. But we cannot escape reality: this is a different world to the one in which FITs were launched. In particular we must provide value for money to bill payers. I cannot preside over a scheme which allows a solar panel installation in  some of the least sunny locations in Britain to generate returns of more than 12%.

Being sensible with tariffs means there will be more money to go round, to spread more widely and thus allow more people to benefit. In the long term this should mean more customers for your companies, not fewer. It should also mean more interest in your products and the solutions you provide and that are on show here today and more opportunities for diversification.

The 100,000 FITs installations we have today are only the start.

Lower tariffs would mean uptake with FITs support could continue to grow in a sustainable way, and the microgen sector can be the engine of a green economic recovery. The future of solar PV in the UK needs to be one based not on subsidy but on sound underlying economics.

We also need more transparency. You need to know how much money there is and what has been installed to date. The public needs access to the best information to make informed decisions about all Microgeneration. The scheme needs to be intelligent and responsive to changes without the need for stop start reviews, we owe you that much.

We will look at streamlining the scheme to make sure it works for industry and consumers with the minimum of bureaucracy. We want a system in place to provide the longer term certainty investors are seeking.

And we will make sure that the interests of bill-payers are protected by making sure the scheme is not open to abuse.

I am also keen that we should establish FITs as part of a whole-house approach which prioritises energy efficiency and supports the right low-carbon heat and electricity technologies, so the consultation will look at how we can use the scheme more smartly to drive this holistic approach.


Many thought I should not have reduced the tariffs of large scale PV installations this summer. But politics, particularly in tough economic times, is about clear priorities. I am even clearer now that we did the right thing. As much as 150 MW of large-scale generation was able to install at the old high rates.

Had I not acted when I did, the run on the budget could have been disastrous. There would be even less money for households, schools and communities and instead of amending the tariffs today, I could have been closing the Scheme.


I am also clear that there needs to be much greater coherence right across the green agenda. The Green Deal and energy efficiency measures, Feed in Tariffs for Microgeneration and the RHI need to work much more effectively together, and so must the industry.

The wider context is also vital in deciding what we do next with FITs. Fuel bills are only going in one direction. You are all energy users, and I’m sure the recent hikes in bills will affect your family this winter. Our top priority must be to help drive energy savings to help keep bills down. And the new Green Deal will a key part of delivering these savings.

The Green Deal will be the biggest home improvement plan since the second world war, helping to insulate people against rising energy prices and creating homes which are warmer and cheaper to run. We all need to become more efficient, our houses, schools and offices.

To help deliver the most cost-effective building carbon savings, the Green Deal and the Feed in Tariff must be brought together as a coherent package for consumers.

So, I can announce today that we will be bringing forward proposals to ensure that all new domestic PV sites from April 2012 must meet minimum energy efficiency standards.

It cannot be right to encourage consumers to rush to install what are still expensive electricity generating systems in their homes before they have thoroughly explored all of the sensible options for reducing their energy consumption first.

Frankly, such a standard should have been a pre-requisite for accessing the FIT subsidy from day one. And I know many in the industry saw this from the outset. So I will be working closely with you, through the Comprehensive Review, to put this in place.

The consultation will also ask how we might do the same for business premises and non domestic sites in the future.

No more PV subsidy for energy inefficient buildings.

But this is not a brake on your businesses but a new green business opportunity. This will encourage companies like yours to diversify into new sectors and join the transformation of the energy efficiency market with the same gusto as you have microgeneration. We will be consulting on the detail of those standards to make sure we get them absolutely right, because we recognise the need to keep the policy simple, cost effective and deliverable.

I also want to say a few words about solar thermal and the host of exciting heat technologies that will be supported by the world’s first Government programme to support renewable heat: the RHI. The fact is the UK is leading the world in renewable heat, completing the picture.

The domestic pre-cursor to the RHI, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, was launched this Summer and has already allocated thousands of vouchers to cut the price of a solar thermal system. Following a short delay from Brussels I am pleased to announce that the full RHI is all set to launch next month.

As part of the new effort to drive a whole-house approach, solar thermal will have an important role to play alongside PV and other innovative technologies. I am keen to see a much greater integration of solar thermal and PV offerings in the marketplace – providing consumers with the best advice and the right technologies for their situation.

In addition, following a recent competition for social landlords, I will  shortly be announcing support for 34 renewable heat projects from social housing providers, to the tune of more than £4m – an increase of 33% on the original budget set aside for this competition.

However, unlike FITs the take up under the RHPP is marginally slower than expected, particularly for solar thermal, and I would urge you all to embrace this scheme which is due to finish at the end of March next year.

There are opportunities for smart, agile companies to take advantage of a brand new market, creating green jobs and helping to drive forward the growth this country needs.


So in conclusion, this conference, the biggest PV event in the country, is testament to the entrepreneurship that this industry has shown, I am determined that together we will forge a sustainable future for Solar PV in the UK.

To do that we have to navigate our way through a challenging time for the industry, staying within budget and showing the critics and sceptics that solar can deliver good value for money.

Let me be absolutely clear, I haven’t come here to kill the tariff scheme, I want to fix it, enhance it and put the whole industry on a sustainable, credible economic path to a bright and exciting future.

If you are thinking of Solar PV, – it’s time to stop thinking and act – NOW

If you’ve been considering Solar Photovoltaic (PV) for your home or business, then with the planned changes being brought forward, then it really is time to act NOW. As the saying goes Act Now or Regret at Leisure (sic).

Too many times in life we say “If only I’d” or “I could have”, or “They were lucky”.

Back in February 2011, the Government announced a Strategic review of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme, aka FiTS or FiT. that review was originally scheduled to be delivered at the beginning of 2012 (January) with implementation form March 2012, and at the time it was widely believed that it would result in a slightly large increase in the degradation rates of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme, i.e the rates would go down.

Well early indications from Greg Barker are that it will do far far more than that.  FiTS was NEVER intended as an investment vehicle for pension funds, in lieu of Tax free ISA’s as the like, well in the case of Solar PV, that is EXACTLY what it has become.

Over the past 2 years the cost of the materials associated with the installation of a Solar PV has fallen dramatically and Solar panels have in the wholesale market place now become a commodity as opposed to a specialist item, with even main-stream electrical distributors stocking all the parts for a solar PV installation. The effect of this is that the capital  cost of installing a 4kWp system has fallen from around £20,000 to less than £14,000 and 50kWp systems have fallen from £250,000 to around £125,000 – £150,000.

So what has that got to do with you? As I mentioned above, the original purpose of FiTS as stated on the Government’s website is:

Through the use of FITs DECC hope to encourage deployment of additional small scale (less than 5MW) low carbon electricity generation, particularly by organisations, businesses, communities and individuals who have not traditionally engaged in the electricity market. This will allow many people to invest in small scale low carbon electricity, in return for a guaranteed payment for the electricity they generate and export.

It was never supposed to be what it has become – the most lucrative investment opportunity in the UK.

The problem is that the Government has changed it’s tune, in the early days they were happy to promote it, as you can see in our download : Worcester Renewables – Free Guide to Investing in Solar PV Greg Barker was more than happy to encourage people to invest in Solar PV when he said

“Feed-in Tariffs provide some of the best secure investment returns available in the market”
Greg Barker, Climate Change Minister

Well, a lot of people took his advice, and the effect was a massive increase in the take up of solar PV – just what he wanted!

However all FiTS payments despite being paid by the electricity companies from a surcharge on all electricity bills is under EU rules considered Government expenditure, and with Strategic Spending Reviews in place, Greg Barker had to cut expenditure in this area. The catch 22 situation here is that cutting FiTS immediately stats to undermine the whole Government Green / Renewables investment strategy and may cause them problems with meeting their EU renewables targets.

So what did they do – First the launched the Strategic Review – what was supposed to be a year long exercise looking at the fundamental structure of the FiTS – and secondly the launched an emergency review which came into force in August and promptly killed of all the large scale solar PV investment.

Well the Strategic Review is about to be published – most sources are suggesting mid October, and the outcome is expected to be swift and hard, the key things are a MASSIVE CUT in FiTS payments to new Solar PV installations, and instead of waiting until April 2012, it is anticipated that this could come in as soon as JANUARY 2012, even back in August, I was predicting that it could go as low as 30p / kWh (for =< 4kWp systems) compared to the current 43.3p / kWh – and that would be in line with the above (£14,000 / £20,000 x 43.3p = 30.3p), some people are predicting it could go as low as 26p / kWh.

The time to act therefore is NOW – don’t delay for a free quotation click here: Request Your FREE No-Obligation Quote

To find out just how LUCRATIVE the current scheme is – and to see how much you will earn from the FITS – Click here: Energy Saving Trust – CashBackCalculator

For more background information on how rapidly this area of FiTS see these recent articles:

Worcester Renewable Tweets with Greg Barker

The new FiT, prices and the future for solar in the UK: Part 1

Worcester Renewables Ltd is an MCS Registered Installer of Solar PV systems and installs both Domestic and Commercial Systems, and is registered with and bound by the REAL consumer code.

Worcester Renewable Tweets with Greg Barker–Minister Avoids the Questions

In usual politician parlance no questions were actually answered, , however here are the questions I did manage to get an answer to in poli-speak.


WorcsRenewables Worcester Renewables

@DECCgovuk There are lots of rumours of massive cuts to the Feed in Tariff for Solar PV in April 2012, what are your plans?

WorcsRenewables Worcester Renewables

@DECCgovuk #AskEnergy What is the current timescale for the FiTs Strategic Review?

WorcsRenewables Worcester Renewables

@DECCgovuk #AskEnergy rumours abound that the FiTs review is late and that another drop in Feed-in Tariffs will b annouced before Xmas True?


clearly big scope to realign tariff with cost, the more we save the more there will be to spread further. i want max takeup 4 money & TLC


And by TLC i mean Transparency, Longevity & Certainty for consumers and industry

WorcsRenewables Worcester Renewables

@DECCgovuk does that mean FiT rates may change mid year with short notice? #AskEnergy


Massive fall in solar costs & big take up is good news but FITs need to be more dynamic to track industry. Comprehensive Review out shortly

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