Liz MacFarlane, Zenex Solar, asks what will become of the PV industry if swingeing cuts to the Feed-in Tariff are given the go ahead
Firstly, let’s look at the proposal itself. As well as an 87 percent headline cut to the tariff, what many people have missed are the quarterly caps. These would mean that once installations in any band in any quarter exceed the cap, no more installations will be eligible for FiTs in that band in the quarter and will need to wait until the following quarter to become eligible – at what will then be a lower FiT rate. This means that the customer or investor won’t know what rate they will get or when they will start getting paid, until after installation.
If installations in the last few months of 2015 exceed DECC’s expectations then it is possible that all the available funds will have been committed anyway, and the FiT scheme could end at the beginning of 2016.
So what’s the future? My best guess would be that we will have a quiet first half of 2016 and that only those exiting 2015 in a strong financial position and with a diverse business model will be able to weather that storm.
Any remaining UK investor confidence will dwindle, and PV will become an aspirational sell to homeowners by companies which have other, larger parts of their business. High energy users and those wishing to future-proof themselves through self-sufficiency should still recognise the benefit of PV and the installers who have been selling in this way, and have built up a reputation in this sector, will be well-placed.