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Tariffs | Green and Alternative Energy Information

Good news on grants and feed-in tariffs

Many schools and community groups are being told they can claim the feed-in tariff and keep grants received under the Low Carbon Building Programme, following months of uncertainty.

Under threat of having to pay back their grant many organisations faced financial difficulty. Their calculations prior to investing in wind turbines or solar PV panels had anticipated receipt of grant and the feed-in tariff. For those who had fundraised for years to get the project off the ground, the idea of more fundraising to pay back the grant was devastating.

So, after months in limbo, waiting for a ruling on EU law on state aid, last week’s  announcement from DECC, has brought relief to many.

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Feed-in tariffs boost growth of UK solar panels

The feed-in tariff is expected to boost growth of solar panels on British roofs fivefold this year, and 30 times over by 2015 according to a report from Price Waterhouse Coopers.

By 2015, the researchers estimate that 1,000 MW of electricity will be generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Even with this rapid growth, Britain will not catch up with the levels of solar electricity generated in Germany today until 2020.

Most existing UK solar PV installations are small domestic panels, which is similar to Germany (DECC forecasts that by 202 98% of total solar PV installations in the UK will be domestic). However, growth in other European countries has led to annual increases of more than 300% during the first year of feed-in tariffs. This may not happen in the UK, as respondents to PWC’s survey expressed concern that there are too few certified installers to meet potential demand.

The analysis found that growth of solar photovoltaic panel installations in the UK to date has been slow because of the lack of incentives for domestic installations, complexity of funding, and planning restrictions. The feed-in tariff should remove these barriers to entry.

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