Monthly Archives: October 2011

DECC announce FiTs review

DECC have announced the terms of the Feed-in Tariff review – which follows on from the fast-track review for large-scale systems earlier in the year.

The proposals, subject to consultation, are to reduce the current 43.3p rate paid to owners of upto 4kW PV systems to 21p for all installations after 12th December 2011.

Similar reductions, in the order of 50% cuts, are planned for all sizes of PV.

Full details on the DECC website: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn11_091/pn11_091.aspx

Things you thought you knew

DECC have published the
GB Housing Energy Fact File.

One fact jumped right out at me as it is quite the opposite of what I expected to see:

Energy use in housing rose by 17% from 1970 to 2009 – an average increase of 0.4% per year. However, the number of homes also increased by two fifths, and average household size has fallen (see Chapter 4). This means that average energy use per home has fallen: from 22,235 to 18,639 kWh.

Of course, per household and per capita are not the same thing at all over this 40 year period.

Proven taken over by Kingspan

It is reported that Kingspan Renewables have taken over the small wind turbine maker Proven Energy.

It appears that production of the 3kW and 6kW (P7 and P11) models will continue, but that any plans to re-start production of the larger P35-2 model, which was the subject of the failures that precipitated the closure of the company, are less likely.

It seems that liability for existing warranties was not part of the transfer and anyone with a claim should contact KPMG, the liquidators.

FiTs loophole closure changes now implemented

DECC snuck out The Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) (Amendment No.3) Order 2011 at the end of September, while everyone was distracted by the RHI fiasco. This implements the changes that were required to remove the ‘loophole’ that allowed a solar-farm developer to install 50kW now and then extend to 5MW within 12 months whilst staying on the ‘old’ tariff and thereby side-stepping the fast track tariff reduction.

Unfortunately the amendment is written using legalistic ‘short hand’ that makes it almost impossible to understand directly. You have to take the changes back and apply them to the original legislation in order to see exactly what they mean.

But the impact is to remove the ability for an extension to an existing FiTs system, if made within the 12 month window that was previously allowed, to enjoy the existing tariffs. From the 18th October they will only be able to claim the tariffs that apply at the Eligibility Date for the extension. That doesn’t make an immediate difference for sub-50kW PV, for example, as the rates haven’t changed.

But it will be critical for anyone who was thinking of extending a, say, 2.5kW PV system which was installed in May this year, to a 4kW system before the 12 months runs out and expected to get paid the 43.3p rate for the whole system (plus whatever RPI uplift is to be added to that next April). They will only get the extension’s generation paid at whatever the new rate will be from next April. And this is widely rumoured to be substantially less than the current figure.

Here’s a before and after of the main amended section, showing which parts have been removed.