Solar feed-in tariff rates frozen until 2015

Good news. There’s to be no automatic degression in solar feed-in tariff rates come October. It means the amount of money paid out to adopters of solar electricity will remain unchanged until 1 January 2015. 

Solar PV panels on a British roofEnergy regulator Ofgem has confirmed the feed-in tariff freeze for the remainder of 2014, with the current rate of 14.38p/kWh for solar PV systems up to 4kW set to stay unchanged until the end of the year.

But it’s not all good news. Due to the solar feed-in tariff’s automatic degression mechanism, regardless of the low levels of deployment, the feed-in tariff rates will be cut from January by 3.5% across all bandings up to 50kW.

Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association said many people in the industry would be relieved by the news. But he added that more deployment at small to mid scale was vital if solar is to reach its full potential.

The Solar Trade Association remains concerned about the lack of growth in the domestic solar sector, pointing to the fact that despite solar’s good returns, the UK has under deployed every quarter for the last two years.

Although more than 500,000 UK households have installed solar panels, much more still needs to be done to encourage households to make the switch to clean, green renewable energy. People still remain in the dark when it comes to the benefits of a solar PV installation – namely a reduction in household energy bills, reduced emissions and the financial rewards available through the feed-in tariff.

In other news, so far this year the UK has outperformed the likes of Germany for solar PV deployment. According to figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) 1,137 MW of PV capacity was added during the first half of 2014, which is more than any other European country, even Germany, a country used to outshining most of Europe put together. The statistics are provisional, and are likely to rise. During the same period in 2013 just 728 MW of capacity was added.

Given that the Renewable Obligations Cenrtificate (ROC) for large scale solar is to be withdrawn in April 2015, it’s likely that second half figures for 2014 will perform even better than the first half, as the rush to install systems gathers pace as the deadline approaches.

According to DECC, by the end of June, there were 572,102 solar PV systems in the UK.

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