Early solar adopters penalised by Government, says CLA.

21 October 2013

The CLA has said early adopters of solar PV in southern and south west England and Wales have been penalised by the Government after a failure to include transition arrangements for larger scale solar projects laid in Parliament yesterday (9 June).

CLA President William Worsley said: "CLA members have between them, spent more than £1 million trying to get large-scale solar projects off the ground and they relied on Government policy to guarantee their return on investment.

"Landowners and the surveyors who advised them on the financial benefits of large-scale solar based on the original Feed-in Tariff (FiT) have both been penalised for an investment in renewable energy. The announcement of lower FiT rates has effectively killed off large-scale projects and left CLA members out of pocket.

"The fast-track review of the FiT may have been necessary to avoid breaching the budget but the CLA made the case for a transition scheme for large-scale projects that were granted planning consent before 1 August 2011 to ensure early adopters were not affected by cuts to promised payments."

Mr Worsley added: "The review's small increase in support for on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) is welcome, although I am disappointed the Government has not yet taken up the CLA's suggestion of a 'manure bonus', nor offered the higher rates we recommended to incentivise the smallest and most environmentally friendly biogas plants.

"We will continue to make the arguments for smaller scale AD as a compliment to farming, particularly in the light of the industry Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. We now look to the comprehensive review of FiT rates to take effect from 1 April next year."