Feed-in Tariff Scheme

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th June 2018.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 12:00 am, 12th June 2018

What his policy is on supporting small and medium-sized renewable power generators after the closure of the feed-in tariff scheme.

Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

What the timetable is for the publication of the Government’s consultation on the feed-in tariff scheme.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

The feed-in tariff scheme was launched in 2010 and now delivers £1.5 billion-worth of support a year for low-carbon generation. It has been really successful, and over 6 GW of it has been deployed—2.5% of UK electricity consumption. We want to see how we can deploy it at a subsidy-free level, as that is where prices are going. I will launch a call for evidence on the future of small-scale generation soon.

Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland)

Although I was delighted to hear that the world-leading small wind turbine manufacturer in my constituency, Gaia-Wind, was saved from liquidation this week by an overseas buyer, the unnecessary uncertainty that the Government have created around the future of small-scale renewable energy persists. So will the Minister put investors and companies at ease and make a cast-iron promise to bring forward the consultation on future support before the summer recess?

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

I am really glad that, as the hon. Gentleman says, it looks as though at least some of the jobs at the company in his constituency have been saved. With these schemes, we always have to think about what is value for money and what is the right thing to do in terms of energy security and supply. I will not make cast-iron guarantees, but I can promise him that it will happen soon.

Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Ben Dyson at Lakes Renewables Ltd in Kendal, which focuses on solar power, has seen a 50% reduction in his work due to the impending closure of the scheme. He has kept going by diversifying, but many other firms have gone to the wall. Ben urgently needs policy clarity from next March, and to see business rates on commercial rooftop solar abolished. What steps will the Minister take to ensure that these rates are abolished and that the growth of small green businesses such as Ben’s is encouraged?

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

I met representatives of the various trade associations to discuss this really important point. It will be considered separately from the consultation. However, I invite the hon. Gentleman and his constituent to make any representations; I would be keen to receive them.