Category Archives: Feed in Tariffs

Just how likely would it be…

if you had PV panels on your roof and the building was totally destroyed.

Would your household insurance company compensate you for the lost future income from your Feed-in Tariff payments?

pv destroyed







It’s the sort of thing that is only going to happen to someone else isn’t it? Maybe worth checking that policy cover now.

EU to impose PV import duty?

Yesterday the EU published a regulation that requires registration of all PV imports from China. This could possibly lead to the imposition of an anti-dumping import duty on all imports effective from today.

Whether this will apply (and it will possibly be retrospective if it does) will not be known until later in the summer.

Any such duty could force the price of panels up by as much as 70-80%. Not good news for PV installers who need price certainty in order to offer their customers viable quotes.

2012 RPI figure announced

The Retail Price Index figure for the year to December 2012 has been announced today as being 3.1% – Consumer Price Indices, December 2012

This should mean that the revised FiT rates for existing PV installs (prior to November 2012) from April 1st 2013 will be uplifted as follows:

45.4p -> 46.8p
21.0p -> 21.7p
16.0p -> 16.5p

and for exports:

3.2p -> 3.3p
4.5p -> 4.6p

Note that following a recent change to the FiT rules by DECC that PV systems that have been installed since 1st November 2012 will not get this RPI increase. They will have to wait until 2014 for their first RPI uplift.

New PV FiT tariffs from 1st November

OFGEM have officially announced the FiT rates that will apply to new PV systems installed from 1st November 2012.
The main rate, for systems not exceeding 4kW, will drop from 16.0p to 15.44p and represents the first change that has been applied to FiT tariffs through the automatic degression system that changes tariffs based on the level of installation in earlier quarters.


Quarterly PV install figures

DECC have published provisional figures for PV installs for the May-July quarter. They are:

0-10 kW 143.7 MW
10-50 kW 43.7 MW

This means that a 3.5% degression will apply to the 0-4 and 4-10 kW bands from 1st November and no degression for the 10-50kW band. With the 0-10 kW well below the next threshold of 200 MW it seems unlikely that a 7% degression will apply.

Figures are only provisional so may change over the next couple of weeks. Final figures have to be announced by DECC around 21st August.

The beginning of the end for Feed-in Tariffs

The Guardian have published Chancellor George Osborne’s letter to DECC minister Ed Davey about the row over ROC reductions. Of note is the penultimate paragraph which says:

Finally, to ensure continued financial control of policies in the nearer term, it would be sensible to include provision in the forthcoming Energy Bill to take powers to shut the Feed-in Tariffs scheme in the future, should this become necessary. You have written round separately on proposals for the FITs scheme and the RHI and we should resolve these together.

(I’ve corrected a typo in there that I expect was introduced by The Guardian)

“should this become necessary” sounds like politician-speak for “get ready to make this happen”.

DECC announce changes for PV and other FiT amendments

Following the 2B consultation DECC have announced some additional changes to the FiT scheme.

Most of these changes are to be implemented from 1st December 2012 (subject to parliamentary approval) with a few exceptions.

Solar PV and wind systems over 50kW DNC and all AD and hydro installations will be able to benefit from a preliminary accreditation process. To be eligible, proposed installations must have planning approval and evidence of acceptance of a firm grid connection offer, if needed, and hydro installations must have any necessary environmental approvals.
The system will provide a tariff guarantee for a fixed period of six months to two years depending on the technology.

PV – six months
AD – one year
wind – one year
hydro – two years

Tariff lifetimes will still apply from the installation’s commissioning date.

Community solar PV systems of up to 50kW DNC can also use the preliminary accreditation process. These are defined as those companies registered as a community interest company (CIC) on the Companies House register, or co-operatives or
community benefit societies registered on the FSA Mutuals Public Register, who will be able to provide their incorporation/registration certificate. Any community company must have no more than 50 employees. All tariffs for community projects will be identical to non-community tariffs. Non-domestic community buildings will not be required
to have an EPC of ‘D’ or higher (as is required for other properties) but they must provide a current EPC when registering.

The exemption from the need for an EPC ‘D’ will be extended to schools and sixth form/colleges even where these do not meet the other conditions for being recognised as a community building.

Micro-hydro – which has been handled via ROO-FIT on a transitional basis so far due to lack of MCS coverage of this technology – will be managed under ROO-FIT on a permanent basis.

Non PV systems will be subject to a tariff degression mechanism from April 2014 with a baseline 5% drop per year. This will be adjusted based on deployment levels in the previous 12 months. The maximum degression level could be 20%.

Some further clarification of definitions is also included that are very important.

- “site” to prevent abuse of the scheme and to ensure that installations that necessarily share network connections, e.g. park homes and remote hydro installations, can access FITs on an individual basis;
- “commissioned” to clarify that installations have to be operating in order to be eligible to claim FITs;
- “hydro generating station” to include small tidal projects such as tidal mills and tidal locks that use a mixture of fluvial and tidal power;

I think those are most of the main points. Some of the detail will obviously need more careful reading and interpretation.


Wallace and Gromit to split

DECC have announced that Pemanent Secretary Moira Wallace is to leave the civil service in the Autumn.

Moira Wallace was the person sitting beside Greg Barker at the joint Environmental Audit Committee and Energy and Climate Change Committee when DECC were savaged over their handling of the Feed-in Tariff cuts last year.

What happens next?

Given the new degression mechanism to the Feed-in Tariff scheme for PV what is likely to happen next?

Current installs for sub-10 kW systems are running at only 48 MW per quarter (taking the most recent MCS database figures the weekly average is just 3.8 MW).

If the installs are below 100 MW then there will be a 0% degression that applies to rates from 1st November. And if that was repeated for the following quarter (installs in August – October) then the next degression, from 1st February 2013, would be 0% as well.

This would mean that the maximum two quarters at 0% condition would be triggered and the next degression point would be 3.5% even if the installation rate remained below the 100 MW per quarter threshold.

So the worst case (from the point of view of capacity installed) would be that a mandatory 3.5% degression would kick-in from 1st May 2013. This would take the 16p rate down to 15.4p.

This would still be subject to DECC reviewing the degression mechanism and making any other adjustments based on changing installation costs. But this would only happen following a consultation process.

The alternate worst case scenario is that the maximum 28% reduction would be triggered in each of the first two quarters. This would reduce the 16p rate to 11.5p from 1st November and then 8.3p from 1st February.