On Wednesday, July 22, the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced a series of retrospective changes in the levels of financial support for clean energy. The Minister has announced that she intends to change the rules governing the Feed-In Tariff, so that the level of financial support for medium-scale onshore wind projects can no longer be guaranteed in advance.
The minister also announced that the rates for small solar projects (sub-5MW) will no longer be grandfathered. This means that potential developers of such projects will be unable to secure finance as they will be unable to forecast income from a guaranteed support rate. Both of these rule changes will have the effect of creating uncertainty among clean energy investors and increase the cost of developing renewable projects.
Green Party Councillor and Chair of Environment Committee on Stroud District Council, Simon Pickering said “The current Government is now acting like an unreconstructed interventionist government of the last century by rigging the energy market in favour of their donors and supporters. So whilst supporting fossil fuel to the tune of £1,000 per household per year they are planning to reduce the measly support for solar (£6 per year) … .The Solar industry with limited government support have brought down the cost of solar power by 70% whist the cost of exploiting fossil fuel in this country is continuing to rise… this is Alice through the looking glass economics of the worse kind.“