U.K. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has launched a comprehensive review of the country's feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme due to what the agency says is evidence that large-scale solar farms could take away money intended to help homes, communities and small businesses generate their own electricity.
Since the FIT program began last year, it has been a huge success at stimulating green growth, driving innovation, creating jobs and cutting carbon, according to the agency. More than 21,000 installations have been registered to date.
Last year's spending review committed the government to save 10% of the costs of FITs in 2014-2015 through a review due to start in 2012 or earlier if uptake exceeds government expectations. Because of the risk of an increasing number of large-scale solar farms pushing FIT costs off track, and the need to give industry added certainty to invest, the coalition has embarked on a comprehensive review of the program.
‘Large-scale solar installations weren't anticipated under the FIT scheme we inherited, and I'm concerned this could mean that money meant for people who want to produce their own green electricity has the potential to be directed toward large-scale commercial solar projects,’ Huhne explains.
The review is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with tariffs remaining unchanged until April 2012 (unless the review reveals a need for greater urgency). Huhne adds that the agency also plans to introduce a measure to support renewable heat next month.