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Solar Power: Feed-in Tariffs

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to paragraph 6(ii) of his Department's consultation on Comprehensive Review Phase 1 - Tariffs for Solar PV, published on 31 October 2011, for what reason 12 December was chosen as the reference date.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The reference date of 12 December 2011 proposed in the Government's consultation on feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar photovoltaics (PV) is six weeks after the publication date of this consultation. As the consultation explains, this period will allow many prospective generators, particularly householders, who have made a financial commitment to installing PV (for example, paying a deposit) to complete their installations and receive the current tariffs.

We recognise though that some prospective FITs generators who have incurred or committed expenditure may not be able to complete their installations and submit their applications for FITs before the proposed reference date. In forming the proposal, we have taken into account the possibility of hardship to persons in this situation. We consider that the proposed approach is reasonable given a number of factors. These include the urgency of the concerns about the impact on the scheme's budget of continuing high levels of uptake at the current tariffs, including any rush of new installations triggered by the consultation. In addition, the proposed new tariffs are designed to provide a reasonable rate of return in line with those intended when the scheme was first introduced. The FITs scheme was never intended to provide windfall profits and in the current climate we regard the returns expected for FIT generators under the proposed new tariffs to be reasonable.

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