STA calls on energy minister to delay FiT reduction

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has written to energy minister Greg Barker asking for a delay to the government’s planned reductions to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) expected on 01 July.

Its decision to make this request is based on April’s PV installation capacity figures which show a sharp drop to 17MW for the month compared to a four weekly average of 71MW recorded over the previous 12 months.

The STA believes that the PV market has now stalled following the introduction of energy efficiency criteria (EPC) for installations registering for FiT plus a drop in consumer confidence as the tariff for domestic installations looks set to drop below 21p/kWh in July.

STA chairman, Alan Aldridge, said: “The STA has been seeking to counter the public confusion around solar in a bid to reignite the market (the Feed-in Tariff offers a ROI today which is as good as when it was first launched), but this effort will take some time to translate into sales. There is no doubt that solar is in better shape now than last autumn, but we need the Government to allow the market to adjust to changing circumstances before introducing the next round of tariff cuts.

“We are facing an unusual set of challenges right now and it is fundamentally a problem of confidence and perception. We need all champions of solar – in Government, industry and elsewhere – to help us get the message out that solar is still a great investment, particularly with energy bills on the rise again. But we also need Government to show real sensitivity to the current situation and work with us to create a stable and growing market.”