Dave Elliott: The UK government has confirmed that its Feed-In Tariff (FiT) support system for small renewable energy projects will end next spring. That will hit consumers who have installed PV solar and used the FiT system payments to offset the investment costs, which were quite large initially, but have now fallen as PV has matured and got cheaper. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) now says that “consumers should not be expected to support sectors indefinitely and that as costs fall, so too should support”. So the whole FIT system will be closed to new applicants. Nevertheless, the FiT system resulted in a PV boom across the EU, with the result being escalating pass-through cost to consumers. So the FiTs were cut back, as in the UK, and, across the EU, they are being abandoned in favour of competitive auction approaches. However, not everyone thinks that is a good idea. Now that PV is cheap, FiTs could be a way to help small projects to finally reach full market competitiveness, via low interim export tariffs and low consumer pass-through costs. But few expect BEIS to agree.
Physics World 1st Aug 2018 read more »