DECC ponders staggered FITs reduction option

Plans for introducing a staged reduction to Feed-In Tariff (FITs) as an attempt to sort out confusion engulfing the solar industry are due to be announced next week.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has said it will outline its proposals for streamlining the FITs on February 9.

Although DECC will not comment in depth on the plans ahead of the expected announcement the scheme is likely to work on the same lines as the German system.

Should this be the case it would readdress one of the main gripes the current Government has with the Labour administration which established the scheme.

Namely that when then energy secretary, Ed Miliband, introduced it he didn’t put in a system to allow the FITs rate to be lowered should take up of PV or costs of producing panels fall.

While, the now leader of opposition, now claims it was always the plan to reduce FITs levels, the current Government has made such a mess of it is currently trying to appeal the refusal of its appeal over a potential judicial review into the cuts.

Now DECC appears to be keen on a new mechanism called either a ‘deployment trigger’ or a ‘cost control’ system to automatically make sure above-market rates for power from solar PV is cut once a certain level of installations is reached.

A spokesman for DECC confirmed: “We intend to announce the results of the solar consultation by February 9.

“At the same time we’ll also put forward proposals to introduce a cost control mechanism for Solar PV to help provide long term certainty for the industry.”

Luke Walsh

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