Many people have been asking us when the government will finally announce the size of the UK feed-in-tariff which is a fair question since it’s supposed to come into force next April after all. Unfortunately we’re not able to give a definitive answer, and nor are any of the people we’ve spoken to about it.
The ‘We Support Solar’ campaign has done well to generate publicity around the feed-in-tariff. Now the government has mentioned 36.5 pence per kilowatt hour as a provisional figure, asking for an increase on that of just 10p is a strong argument. Whether the government sees it that way is yet to be known however. Alan Simpson, one of the most active and vocal MPs on the subject believes that the delay in feed-in-tariff decision may be a tactical decision by Labour. For example, an announcement on the feed-in-tariff could be used to boost popularity at a key moment – perhaps even during next week’s summit in Copenhagen.
Alternatively, if both the Tories and Labour believe the feed-in-tariff to be a votes winner, there could well be a bidding war taking place behind closed doors between the two parties right now. Neither party would want to be seen as stingier than the other when it comes to creating green electricity and green jobs. This is pure speculation of course, but if it were true it would be great thing for the UK renewables industry.
The opposite could also be true however. With many households already stretched by their energy bills, the government could be looking to reduce the cost of implementing a feed-in-tariff. It is hard to see them going below the already announced 36.5 pence (it would be better to scrap the whole feed-in-tariff together), but they could be waiting for a moment when the newspapers are distracted by another issue to announce the feed-in-tariff plans.
Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to write a reaction to a government announcement. Until then though, if you haven’t already written to your local MP asking what they personally have done to support the UK feed-in-tariff then go do it, now!