Feed in tariffs: London insists on appeal

The British Court of Appeals has thrown out an appeal request of the ruling forbidding the government from lowering feed in tariffs (FIT) for PV. Now the British Minister of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) intends to appeal the Court of Appeals decision, according to a 21 February announcement. The energy ministry has now submitted an application of appeal to the Supreme Court. The Solar Trade Association (STA) showed disappointment at the government's latest step. The move could draw out uncertainty for operators of PV systems over several months.
In any case, FITs for domestic roof systems in the United Kingdom will be cut by half starting 1 April. According to a press release issued by the DECC on 9 February, any operator of a system with an eligibility date on or after 3 March 2012 will receive only 21 pence instead of the compensation of 43 pence per kilowatt hour which previously applied for solar power. The tariffs for larger installations will be reduced according to a different scheme.

Furthermore, power fed into the grid from PV systems will only be compensated at the full rate if the buildings on which they are installed have a minimum EU Energy Performance Certificate rating of D. According to the current rating system, energy use in such a building would have to have at least a typical energy consumption rate of 120 kWh/m ² per year thermal and 95 kWh/m ² per year electric. Following input from special interest groups, the government backed off of its initial plan to require at least an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C in order for buildings to receive full compensation within the FIT framework.

For operators of more than one PV system, the feed in rate drops starting with the second project — by a full 80 %. Operators of more than 25 PV systems receive an individual tariff.

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