Andy Boroughs, Managing Director of Organic Energy, has called for ‘clarity and consistency’ from the Government following the unrest over recent proposals to cut the feed-in tariff rate and the announcement of the Green Deal consultation.
Mr Boroughs believes that the speed and scale of the proposed cut to the feed-in tariff has unsettled the solar industry and significantly derailed the trust of all green strategy stakeholders.
Mr Boroughs’ comments come in response to last Wednesday's defeat of Labour’s motion to defer the cut-off point in the House of Commons. The defeat leaves the industry preparing to accept a fifty percent slash in subsidies in December whilst the consultation on the decision will close two weeks after the changes come into effect.
He said: “Frankly, it was bad enough that the solar PV industry was thrown into turmoil when the recent cuts were announced; to now delay it would just cause further confusion.
“But that's what the Government appears to be on this issue – confused. Every day there appears to be a different figure put on exactly how much the continuation of the FiT would add to energy bills, ranging from £55 to £80 per household by 2020. But even the Government's own impact assessment shows any increase in bills resulting from leaving the current feed-in tariff regime as it stands would amount to around £26 a year.”
“We don't believe the FiT could have remained at the current level, but obviously to maintain it until April would have been the sensible option in the first place.
Mr Borough stressed the importance of Government maintaining a clear target to enable industry to engage in planning for the future and questioned the effect of its repeated “moving the goalposts” approach on investor confidence.
“What we need is due thought, consideration and diligence by the Government in preparing a long-term strategy for a low carbon economy. In a week which has seen a protest over the solar tariff reductions outside Parliament, a debate on the issue in the Commons, and revelations over the incredible profit margins of the Big Six energy companies, now is the time to put renewables at the forefront of the UK's future energy policies,” added Boroughs.