Dave Elliott: The UK government’s plan to abandon the feed-in tariff (FIT) system for small renewable energy projects did not go down well, especially since it meant the loss of the export tariff. Householders who invested in a photovoltaic (PV) array on their roof have used that to offset the cost of their investment by selling any extra power they generated at a reasonable rate – 5.24 p/kWh – to their grid supplier. However, with the FiT, along with the export tariff, to be closed to new applicants from the end of March, they will get nothing for any exports. In a parliamentary debate on the FiT in November last year, energy minister Claire Perry said she aimed to avoid that situation. It certainly looked unfair and counterproductive. Claire Perry has now gone ahead with a consultation on the Government’s proposals for a new market for electricity export from small-scale PV solar, configured “so that people are not providing it to the grid for free”. Under the proposed “Smart Export Guarantee” (SEG), electricity suppliers would pay new small-scale PV and other energy producers for excess electricity from homes and businesses put back into the power grid.
Physics World 16th Jan 2019 read more »