Today the government issued its response to the consultation on changes to Feed-in-Tariff accreditation. Whilst the majority of respondents disagreed with the proposal to remove pre-accreditation, it will, nevertheless, cease to be available from 1 October 2015.
The government will also be removing pre-registration, which is currently available to community groups and schools with solar PV installations not exceeding 50kW. Pre-registration is a type of pre-accreditation and guarantees a tariff rate as at the date the application for pre-registration is received by Ofgem.
The consultation itself acknowledged that there would be a particular impact on the community sector and the consultation responses confirmed this. Nevertheless, pre-accreditation (and pre-registration) is to be removed across the board.
There may be a small glimmer of hope. The consultation response leaves open the possibility of reintroducing pre-accreditation either for all groups or on a more limited basis. Whether or not this comes to pass depends on the outcome of the FIT review consultation. However, given the government's approach to the renewables industry to date, it would be surprising if they were to do anything other than continue to cut support.
The only certainty is that the removal of pre-accreditation (and pre-registration) will lead to uncertainty, difficulties in securing finance, and a reduction in investor confidence in the renewables sector.
An amended FIT Order is to be laid in parliament today with a view to coming into effect on 1 October 2015.
Contributor: Alexandra Holsgrove Jones
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