Posts tagged with: Ofgem

Ofgem’s Sustainable Development Focus has released figures showing that in the first 6 months of feed-in tariffs in the UK, over 11,000 generator have registered for the tariff, marking a considerable surge in solar photovoltaic installations in particular. Indeed, with 11,352 renewable systems installed, it indicates that the scheme has been more successful than predicted, with enough output to power around 35,000 homes.

Feed-in tariffs work by offering fixed, premium rates for both the energy generated from renewable systems (which is then fed-back into the grid), and the energy used. When first introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), it was with the intention of incentivising investment in green energy by off-setting the costs of installing renewable energy systems by creating long term, guaranteed yields from the projects. Emulating schemes applied successfully abroad, it seems that in the first 6 months of operation, the tariffs have certainly been effective as a means of boosting renewable installations across the UK.

In order to get the UK grid network fully up to speed with the complex requirements of a low-carbon economy, the Sustainable Development Focus Report also published its proposals for updating the country’s network. Working on a framework of Revenue= Incentives+ Innovation+ Outputs (RIIO), Ofgem is planning on generating £32 billion of investment much needed to upgrade a UK national grid not yet ready for green energy and the mechanisms set up around it.

Alistair Buchanan of Ofgem wrote in a foreword to the report,

“This is the biggest change to the regulatory framework for 20 years and sets the network companies on a path to playing their full role in the transition to a low-carbon economy while delivering value for money for all consumers.”

An article published in the Financial Times last week has vividly highlighted just what effect the recently introduced feed-in tariff has had on the UK solar industry. The news that record numbers of people have decided to install solar panels is largely due to the feed-in tariff legislation which offers installers a healthy return on investment, off-setting the costs of buying and fitting the kit.

The figures published in the FT last Tuesday taken from Ofgem state that this month alone, more than 2,200 homes have fitted solar panels compared to 1,700 last month and 1,400 in June. Indeed, with figures that more than 6,600 households have installed solar panels since the introduction of the tariff system it is good evidence that this incentive scheme could herald the beginning of a boom in the UK solar industry.

Unsurprisingly, The Financial Times paid particular emphasis to the obvious financial rewards associated with solar installation rather than environmental benefits. With the case example of John Keown, a company director who invested in solar through a scheme offered by British Gas, a good case was made for the long term viability of solar PV projects.

Keown will be set to reap the benefits of solar energy installation with expected returns of £1000 per year through savings on electricity bills and revenue from the tariff. Keown for example has estimated that since he installed his solar panels in April he has made £289 from the feed-in tariff. He stated,

“I haven’t gone into self-produced energy to be green. I’ve gone into it because I think it’s a good financial saving, perhaps even better than having an Isa account.”

Certainly, it seems to be growing in the public consciousness that the installation of solar panels to households is more than just a green fad or something which can bring about negligible carbon footprint reductions. The high rates of return which can be achieved through solar panels is likely to attract investors exponentially in the future as word catches on that sourcing and installing a solar system doesn’t have to be painful process.

Plans to connect future offshore wind energy to the UK national grid are being firmed up with proposals to create new offshore transmission licences which will be competitively tendered from June 2009.

More: continued here