That is the conclusion of the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) technical director Stuart Pocock, speaking today (October 11) at the Energy Solutions exhibition London Olympia.

In his speech, Mr Pocock outlined the role of FITs in the promotion of sustainable energy in the UK, while also comparing the UK’s progression in renewable energy with the rest of Europe.

He said: “FITs are now used in more than 60 countries and are shown to be one of the most successful mechanisms for getting renewables into the market.”

Mr Pocock said that while the UK has been “quite late” in its uptake of FITs that it had been a “major success story” for the UK as a whole, creating around 25,000 jobs and resulting in major savings for investors.

In particular, the latest quarterly Ofgem results show that domestic photovoltaics (PV) have generated about 1,700KWH of energy this year, in addition to offering individuals an income tax exemption, allowing them to instead pay back into the grid. In contrast, wind FITs generated just 1,810KWH.

However, Mr Pocock warned the as a result of the scheme’s success that the Government’s Comprehensive Review into FITs is likely to have a major impact on financial incentives of the scheme.

He said: “The scheme has been so popular that earlier this year the Government realised some (FITs) schemes have been too generous.”

As a result, the Government unveiled new tariffs from on October 1, while a ‘loophole’ in the scheme is due to be closed on October 18, which impacted on the PV FITs market.

In conclusion, Mr Pocock said key questions must be asked of the review, such as how much capacity will be accredited under FITs by March 31 2012, as well as how much will be spent on FITs verus the budget.

Live from Energy Solutions 2011

Carys Matthews

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