Saturday, March 19, 2011

UK government unveils plans to slash solar feed-in tariffs | Environment |

UK government unveils plans to slash solar feed-in tariffs | Environment |

The latest news out of the UK: "
The government has unveiled plans to slash by almost 75% financial incentives for larger solar power schemes on the grounds the feed-in tariff (Fit) was in danger of being hijacked by City speculators.
Subsidies for 5 megawatt schemes such as Toyota's will be cut from 30.7p per kilowatt (kW) hour to as little as 8.5p – although schemes of up to 50kW for the average domestic homeowner will remain the same."

Fascinating move - nice to see reality setting in, but lest we be deceived into thinking coherent thought exists in FITlands, let's revisit George Monbiot's blog entry from just over 1 year ago,  Are we really going to let ourselves be duped into this solar panel rip-off?
Some quotes:
"The government is about to shift £8.6bn from the poor to the middle classes. It expects a loss on this scheme of £8.2bn, or 95%."
"The government wants everyone to get the same rate of return. So while the electricity you might generate from large wind turbines and hydro plants will earn you 4.5p per kilowatt hour, mini wind turbines get 34p, and solar panels 41p. In other words, the government acknowledges that micro wind and solar PV in the UK are between seven and nine times less cost-effective than the alternatives."
"...the further from the equator you travel, the less sense it makes. It's not just that the amount of power PV panels produce at this latitude is risible, they also produce it at the wrong time. In hot countries, where air conditioning guzzles electricity, peak demand coincides with peak solar radiation. In the UK, peak demand takes place between 5pm and 7pm on winter evenings."
"Buying a solar panel is now the best investment a householder can make... If you own a house and can afford the investment, you'd be crazy not to cash in. If you don't and can't, you must sit and watch your money being used to pay for someone else's fashion accessory.
Had this money been spent instead on insulation or double glazing, it could have helped relieve fuel poverty at the same time as cutting emissions. But the feed-in tax is both wasteful and regressive. The government has now decided not to oblige people to improve the efficiency of their homes before they can claim a tariff."

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