(REPOST: Brighton Energy Cooperative)
The UK Treasury quietly released a document late last year which signalled the end of the UK’s popular renewable energy scheme, the Feed in Tariff (FIT). Late in November the Treasury announced: “there will be no new low-carbon electricity levies until 2025,” meaning that when current FIT legislation ends (in 14 months’ time) there will be no replacement.
Existing Feed in tariffs for already-built renewable energy installations are not affected.
While the FIT announcement is no great surprise, it confirms suspicions that Government interest in renewables amounts only to obscuring its own boredom.
The successful FIT scheme has facilitated nearly 1 million solar installations in the UK. Launched by Energy Minister Ed Milliband in the late 2000s, FITs have allowed hundreds of thousands of people to participate in renewable energy generation.
Yet since its inception the Conservative government has struggled to maintain FITs at levels appropriate to the real-world cost of installation.
Now, with a light heart, HMG has finally washed its hands of FITs. Whover pops up next on the Energy Minister roundabout (seven have leapt on and off this magical device in the last six years) is thus liberated to spend time on more important things that no-one wants, like nuclear energy, perhaps; or fracking.
Will Solar PV survive?
It may be, however, that solar energy writes another tale. As ever, renewable energy prices are falling. One of the reasons for the UK’s successive Feed in Tariff crises has been the consistent inability of anyone to predict the rate at which renewble energy will become cheaper. Maybe we should sympathise with those energy ministers repeatedly made to look like utter boobies as they announced the latest wildly innapropriate FIT levels: predicting the future price of solar, it turned out, was equalled in futility only by those more recently trying do the same for Bitcoin.