In a show of support for the possible introduction of a feed-in tariff, the UK solar industry, led by the UK Solar PV Manufacturers Association has launched its ‘We support solar campaign’. Following last years Energy Bill, there is now a real probability of a coherent feed-in tariff law being established in the UK
The feed-in tariff is government legislation which attracts investment and promotes growth in the renewable energy sector by making it a financially viable option. This is done by guaranteeing a fixed, premium rate for energy fed-into the national grid from renewable energy suppliers. The added cost of producing energy by renewable means is therefore offset by the fixed rates that the traditional energy companies are obliged to pay for the green Megawatts.
The feed-in tariff contracts will provide small renewable installations (generally under 5MW) with a steady revenue stream and it is believed that this will help spread the ‘green’ message into communities. Around 30 MPs are now backing the take up of a serious feed-in tariff policy, as has been seen in places like Germany and California where they have been successful. The government has hinted strongly that they will be looking to mirror feed-in tariff systems implemented abroad and there is growing pressure both from leading renewable energy producers and environmental groups alike for their adoption in the UK.
Former UK government minister, Michael Meacher has given his support to the feed-in tariff and Environment and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Milliband by saying,
“Ed Miliband’s decision to introduce a feed-in tariff for solar PV and other small-scale renewable electricity technologies is potentially a real turning point for the UK solar PV sector. It gives the UK a vital new policy tool that should help to maximise the contribution from solar PV to our demanding renewable energy target.”