The renewable energy industry in the south west has criticised Government plans to slash the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT).
Today (August 27), the Government published its long-awaited review of the FIT scheme and proposed dramatic cuts of up to 87%.
Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW, said the announcement puts thousands of jobs at risk and “will undermine the opportunity for local people, businesses and communities to take control of the way we generate, use and supply energy”.
He said: “Because of the Feed-in Tariff, communities and businesses up and down the country have had the opportunity to harness their own natural energy resources, helping to reduce and localise energy spend, tackle fuel poverty and generate an income to re-invest in the local area.
“The Government’s focus should be on supporting this ‘people power’ and reducing consumers’ exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices – not simply cutting costs.”
Fred Barker, from Bude Energy Community, added: “Bude Community Power was formally established in April 2015 and has identified a potential portfolio of solar PV projects of at least 800 kW capacity.
“Recent and proposed Government policy changes make it far less likely that we will be able to establish and develop our portfolio, due to the uncertainty relating to Feed-in Tariff levels.
“Our aim is to develop a better energy future, with more community benefits, lower energy bills and greater independence for the Bude area, but the changes are undermining our efforts.”