BIFM responds on PV tariffs

20-12-11 5:4 BIFM

As Friends of the Earth and two renewable power companies mount a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to cut feed-in tariffs for solar power, BIFM has responded to the official consultation which closes this week.

Working with the Institute’s energy policy advisor Bill Wright, the Institute has provided a detailed response to the proposed changes to tariff levels – announced before the close of the consultation.

The BIFM has said: ”All businesses require stability and consistency. The current consultations and proposed changes to FITs instil neither and will not encourage investment in both finance and jobs. There has to be a clear, consistent, long term policy for this scheme to function as it should do. The reaction to the first implementation of FITs showed that, given a clear investment signal, business responds and creates jobs and investment.”

The 12th December deadline has caused many viable installations to be stopped as they would not be completed by that date, says the BIFM. A date in 2012 would be a better time for implementation. The very short notification has caused supply disruption as contractors and clients scrambled to obtain supplies of panels and invertors, creating artificial shortages.

The Government has proposed that, for solar PV attached to a building, eligibility for the standard tariffs should be contingent on a minimum energy efficiency requirement being met.

The BIFM recognises that energy efficiency is the best way forward but there are many buildings such as farm stores, warehouses and small factories where improving the energy efficiency is not economic. If the aim of FITs is to reduce emissions by the provision of renewable energy then a lot of buildings could be excluded. To introduce level C EPC within a year is probably not feasible. Whilst recognising it as a good incentive to carry out efficiency improvements the level should be reached over several years incrementally.

BIFM also responded to the earlier review of Feed in Tariffs in May 2011

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