Unavoidable tariff cuts will affect poorest claim renewables industry

The newspapers have been full of little else yesterday – the shockwaves of Monday’s Government announcement on the Feed-in Tariff cuts of around 50%, which will come into force from 12th December this year.

Whilst the Government have already explained that the cuts were unavoidable, in order to safeguard the future of some form of tariff system for micro-generators of renewable energy, the solar industry have responded with shock and dire warnings of the cuts affecting the poorest most.

I particular, community projects look the most likely to be scrapped. Such schemes were originally designed to help the most vulnerable escape fuel poverty. What now for those most at risk?

The solar industry is also concerned, and rightly so, that the latest cuts don’t send a very confident message to the wider business community on Britain’s renewables intentions.

They’re also concerned for the business future of those solar installation companies that may loose work and the thousands employed in this fledgeling industry.

In a separate row, there’s speculation that the target date of 12th December for the new tariffs to come into force, could be moved as the date is actually 11 days prior to the tariff consultations end.

It’s remarkable that in all the reports I’ve read so far, very little seems to have been made of the fact that the new tariff rate, due to come into force on the 12th December 2011, could very well be reduced again when the proper tariff review date of April 2012 comes around.

The Minister for Energy in his statement on Monday stated that customers on the new tariff are only guaranteed that rate until the revisal of all tariffs in April 2012. December’s reduction is in effect a temporary reduction to protect the tariff ‘pot’ from premature depletion, ahead of April 2012’s review.

photo credit: rev stan

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