Government Confirms Closure of Export Payment for New Solar Generators

The Government published its response to the consultation on the Feed-in Tariff today (18 December), which delivers another disappointing blow to the solar industry and to the general public who want to engage with clean energy.

Over 60% of people say they want to install solar power, yet the government confirmed it will end not only the Feed-In Tariff, but also the export tariff, which provides payment to people adding clean energy on the grid networks.

Criticising the decision, Solar Trade Association (STA) Chief Executive, Chris Hewett, said: “BEIS has taken this decision before it sets out how it will overcome a fundamental market failure that risks seeing new solar homes put power on the grid for free from next April. At a bare minimum, government should retain the export tariff until an effective, alternative way to fairly remunerate solar power is implemented.

“Nobody is saving any money here because the export tariff is not a subsidy. Last month energy minister, Claire Perry, said that she would not allow a situation where solar generators would have to give away their power for free. We urgently need her to set out the detail behind plans for an export price as soon as possible to prevent the uncertainty that today’s announcement will create, before damaging market confidence any further.”

The BEIS consultation had 345 responses submitted with 91% of respondents disagreeing with the ending of the export tariff.

Chris added, “We are also concerned that the government has given no indication of requirements for consumer standards and the MCS scheme.

“Practices of mis-selling could become more prevalent given a policy gap, with a promise by the government of a future route to market being available and no clarity on how this might work. Furthermore, the STA says it is clear from the government’s response that the UK’s obligation with regards to the Renewable Energy Directive II (which requires fair remuneration ‘at market rates’ for solar generators exporting to the grid) has also not been properly considered.”

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