Since the news that the incentives for solar power will be left alone for the time being, the industry’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Micropower Council said,“This news marks the start of a true Citizens’ Energy Revolution. The Government has sent a clear signal to homes, businesses and investors that the UK Microgeneration sector is now well and truly open for business.”
Active players in the UK industry, including Sharp and Solarcentury also expressed how imperitive this decision was for their work to go further this year.Andrew Lee, General Manager UK & Ireland of Sharp Solar UK,said, “The solar PV industry has always known that FiT levels from April 2013 onwards would be subject to review, and so Sharp Solar and the PRASEG Solar PV Forum has already factored in the risk of regulatory adjustments in respect of tariff levels from that date.”
“With Sharp Solar seeking to increase solar PV production levels at its Wrexham plant, which in turn brings with it significant UK investment and jobs, a settled FiT regime until 2013 is essential.”
Jeremy Leggett, Founder and Executive Chairman of Solarcentury said,”We are delighted that the coalition politicians who understand how much potential the unfolding global solar revolution holds for UK plc have won their argument to maintain course with the feed-in tariff. They will not be disappointed, when they review the job statistics in this sector of the greening UK economy two years from now. We look forward to sitting down with the government and discussing a sustainable reduction for the feed-in tariff in 2013.”
The Forum also called on the government quickly to define the precise, if unlikely, conditions that might trigger any review of tariffs levels prior to 2014, highlighting the importance of this to ensure investors and citizens wishing to invest in PV remain confident in the stability of the regulatory framework.
However, although the industry was understandably pleased with the result, the Government is still being called to clarify the finer points of the FiT arrangement, such as what the conditions are that might trigger a premature review, and just how much PV is too much.
Alan Whitehead MP, Chairman of PRASEG clarified this point by saying:
“It is good to see that there is now some certainty about the arrangements for FiT over the next few years, although we need to be clear about the circumstances under which any tariff changes earlier than 2014 might take place. Solar PV investment can now really move forward.”