The U.K.'s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced cuts to incentives for solar projects larger than 50 kW. Solarcentury, a PV installation firm in the U.K., has described the new rates as better than expected and predicts that they will allow for ‘steady growth’ in the large-scale solar market.
Under the DECC's ruling, ground-mounted projects will receive 1.6 Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) MWh, beginning April 1, 2013. The current level was of 2 ROCS.
A new band for building-mounted projects has been set at 1.7 ROCs for 2013 to 2014. This new division was created ‘in order to incentivize solar projects on buildings, building-mounted solar PV projects will receive higher rates than ground-mounted projects,’ explains the DECC. ‘This will encourage the installation of solar projects at large factory or warehouse buildings.’
‘After the uncertainties of 2012, this is good news,’ says Frans Van Den Heuvel, chief executive at Solarcentury. ‘We welcome the fact that the government has listened to the industry and that it is introducing new ROC rates that will enable us to grow with confidence in 2013 and 2014. The new rates are tough but workable.’
The decision includes no additional review mechanism beyond that which already exists under the legislation, SolarCentury adds.
‘We want to see a healthy solar industry that grows in a sustainable way,’ says Edward Davey, DECC secretary. ‘That's why our support levels reflect the fall in the cost of the technology.’