The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revoked its decision to exclude small solar projects from the Feed in Tariff (FiT).
Support from the RO will still apply to renewable electricity generated by projects bigger than 50 kilowatts and under 5 MW from 2013.
Initial propositions from the DECC saw renewable energy systems with an output of less than five megawatts (MW) excluded from the FiT.
Energy Minister Greg Barker said: “I am fully committed to spurring on growth in clean, green energy generation across the nation and want to provide long-term certainty for those who choose to invest.
“In light of feedback from industry on our intention to consult on the overlap between the RO and FiTs we believe that now is not the time to make further changes to these schemes. Industry needs certainty, and keeping the current arrangements for small scale renewables as they are will help provide this assurance.”
This is good news for homeowners and small businesses that have installed, or plan to install, solar panels, small scale wind, anaerobic digestion and hydro power projects.
When the government announced that smaller renewables would not be eligible for any financial reimbursement under the Renewables Obligation (RO), industry professionals were concerned that this would result in fewer people installing systems.
Following this feedback, the DECC has reversed this decision.
This news has been well received by experts in the field and Paul Barwell, Chairman of the Solar Trade Association said: “We really are very grateful to the minister for listening carefully. The interface with the RO and FiT may not be perfect, but it is vital to retain confidence and momentum through this well understood support mechanism.”
There were concerns that uncertainly around eligibility for the FiT would result in a drop in solar panel installation. Since the FiT was reduced this year, the number of solar panel installations declined slightly, but it is hoped that this good news will reaffirm people’s faith in the system.