30/01/2012 - Kent Courier Editorial
Is it 'Boom & Bust' for the PV market?
By Simon Dudson – Renewable’s Expert, The Little Green Energy Company
Over the last few months it has been hard not to have seen the changes in the Renewables market, PV in particular. Last October the Government announced an urgent review of the tariffs (FITs), paid for electricity produced by solar panels. A gold rush erupted in the PV sector, with the public and businesses racing to install PV before the 12th December cut off when the tariff was due to be halved.
The industry has been calling for the government to address these changes for months to protect a new and growing market. Late to respond and seeing an accelerating take up of PV, the governments knee jerk reaction was not only to cut the tariffs by half but give the industry only 6 weeks to adapt to the changes. In these uncertain economic times the Renewables sector has been creating jobs and should be supported as one of the UKs booming sectors. This hammer blow by Greg Barker MP and his cronies at DECC has sent shockwaves through the industry, creating uncertainty and has resulted in investors getting cold feet, huge job losses and businesses to fold.
Since the cut off date before Christmas the government decision has been challenged and they were seen to have acted ‘unlawfully’ by the courts. Not happy with this decision the government have now appealed dragging the whole industry into an uncertainty of its future.
Similar schemes have been run successfully in other countries, though through sheer incompetence and miss-management of the FIT the government have severely hurt the renewable market in the UK. With an obligation to carbon reduction this is definitely a step backwards and leaves a lot of companies bewildered into knowing what to do next.
If you are thinking of getting a PV installation, now is definitely the time to do so though. In this state of limbo prices have fallen and returns of 10-12% can still be guaranteed. Be quick though as things may change this April. For more information or to keep up to date with what’s happening follow us on twitter @tlgec.