DECC has revised the figures published for the feed-in tariff budget; increasing the spending envelope by £197 million over the next four years.

The revised figures were first published on December 8 in a document that outlined questions and answers about the control framework for DECC levy-funded spending. In response to the joint-committee inquiry the revised budget levels were also published, outlined in the table below:


According to DECC, the revised figures reflect a reclassification of those larger-scale schemes that have elected to receive feed-in tariff rather than the Renewable Obligation (RO) which was not factored into the original spending caps. DECC explicitly states that: “We have not made more subsidy available for feed-in tariffs or less for the RO.”

What DECC has technically done is to reverse a decision that assumed that those generating stations below 5MW, eligible for both the RO and the feed-in tariff scheme, will elect to receive the feed-in tariff rather than the RO. The result is that all spend from installations of less than 5MW have been included within the feed-in tariff spending limit rather than the RO spending limit.

The revised budget leaves the current Government commitments at the following (based on assumptions outlined here):

Year DECCs FiT budget Solar PV commitment % of budget allocation
2011-12 £94,000,000 £89,408,783 95
2012-13 £196,000,000 £268,944,285 137
2013-14 £328,000,000 £282,391,499 86
2014-15 £446,000,000 £291,511,074 66


Taking into account the 20 percent headroom within the Treasury cap, it is likely, given Greg Barker’s continued commitment to linking the solar PV FiT rate to energy efficiency measures, that expenditure will fall within the cap over the total period up to 2012-13, given an April reference date. 

Total PV commitment – Level C energy efficiency (April Start)

Year Budget with 20% headroom % of budget allocated (with headroom)
2011-12 £107,290,540 121
2012-13 £322,733,142 99
2013-14 £338,869,799 103
2014-15 £355,813,298 110

N.B Figures based on details provided by DECC which set out the relative costs of different tariff reduction options on a nominal, unadjusted basis.

The Government will found out on January 13 whether or not it is able to appeal a decision by the High Court that ruled the proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff as “legally flawed”. Barker maintains that immediate action was necessary to preserve an almost depleted feed-in tariff budget from being entirely consumed and jeopardising the entire future of the scheme.