Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Britain mulls cutting financial support for solar power plants

Reuters, LONDON

Britain yesterday proposed cutting financial support for new solar plants from Aug. 1, saying it wants to focus instead on supporting household and community-level projects.

A public consultation will run until May 6 on the proposal and it will then go before parliament for final approval.

“This will really curtail the solar industry in Britain,” said Roman Webber, head of renewable energy at consultancy firm Deloitte.

The government has proposed cutting support for new solar plants with more than 50 kilowatts capacity and stand-alone installations.

“These proposals aim to rebalance the scheme and put a stop to the threat of larger-scale solar soaking up the cash. The FITs [feed-in-tariffs] scheme was never designed to be a profit-generator for big business and financiers,” British Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said in a statement.

The new rates are £0.19 (US$0.31) per kilowatt hour for plants between 50 kilowatts and 150 kilowatts in capacity, £0.15 for 150 kilowatts to 250 kilowatts and £0.85 for 250 kilowatts and above, it said.

Previous rates were £0.329 for 10 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts and £0.307 for 100 kilowatts and above.

The changes are in line with amendments made to similar schemes in other European countries, such as Germany, France and Spain.

The government said it would not act retrospectively and that any changes implemented would only affect new entrants to the FITs scheme. Plants already accredited for FITs would not be affected, it said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top