Since the Feed-in Tariff was capped and its closure announced in 2015, small-scale renewable generation has ‘nose-dived’, ‘fallen off a cliff’ or any other gravity-based metaphor that has been used to describe the huge reduction in installations. This rapid decrease has been observed and recorded in official figures and the government are well aware of the effect their change in policy has had – and yet in July, they announced their intention to close not only the tariff received for any electricity generated, but also the export tariff which pays for electricity exported to the grid.
Following a high number of responses to their consultation and high profile campaigning from industry, including the Solar Trade Association, 10:10 and Community Energy England, Claire Perry, Minister for Energy, has stated that exported electricity “should not be provided to the grid for free”. This is a positive sign and we hope the government will continue the export tariff in some form, to avoid leaving generators with no means of gaining revenue from electricity they export.
However, there is still no certainty that this will be the case and we still don’t know what the government envision for small-scale renewables once the scheme closes. We must continue to push ministers to understand the benefits that small-scale, locally generated renewable energy can bring and, at the very least, provide some means of gaining remuneration from exported electricity.
We are urging everyone to contact their MP before Christmas, either in person or by letter/email, to persuade them to push Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on this issue. It is a busy time for government and we must ensure this issue does not fall by the wayside.
We have drafted a short briefing for your MP and a template letter which you, your business or your community can use to engage with your MP. The documents can be downloaded in the briefing pack above, but please do get in touch if you would like any advice. You can also take a look at our consultation responses which provide more background and statistics.