The Government has signalled that it is ready to submit to industry demands to introduce feed-in tariffs (FiTs) – the procurement mechanism by which householders are paid premium rates for any green energy they sell to the National Grid.
The move was confirmed by a spokesperson from the Department for Business,
“We remain committed to the Renewables Obligation (RO). However, we will be looking at a whole range of other measures. And yes, FiTs are one of the options being explored.”
The volte face comes less than six months after BERR dismissed Peter Ainsworth’s, the shadow environment secretary, pledge to introduce FiTs. At that time it said the
Under the RO, introduced by the Government in 2002, licensed
The renewables industry and environmentalists, however, have argued that the RO, along with capital grants such as the £18 million Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), have been insufficient to deliver the widespread uptake of renewables required to meet the 2020 target.
Andrew Cooper, head of on-site renewables with the Renewable Energy Association, welcomed the consultation paper. “This will have a positive impact on the renewables market,” he said.
“FiTs have already had a huge impact in
Jonah Andrews, policy director with the Micropower Council, was more circumspect. “We certainly support the discussion surroundings FiTs. Nonetheless, there are details that need to be ironed out before the mechanism is introduced into the
“The German model is very different from the
“What we don’t want to see is huge upheaval in the sector, and what’s promised and needed is not delivered. We need to concentrate on getting the details right first.”
Ed Matthews, Friends of the Earth’s economics campaigner, said the Government should strengthen the Energy Bill – which has entered the Committee stage in Parliament – by including provision for FiTs. “The problem with consulting on FiTs in the summer is that there’s this delay. It will take at least another year before any decision is made, and the