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Author Topic: An end to FIT for solar panels?  (Read 6164 times)
ProDave
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« on: July 17, 2015, 06:37:34 PM »

Yes I know, it's the daily wail  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3165273/Solar-power-subsidies-slashed-Tory-plans-big-reset-green-taxes-pushing-energy-bills.html

But does that mean an end to FIT's for solar PV in the near future?
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climber
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2015, 07:37:40 PM »

From Wiki:

In July 2015, Private Eye reported that Rudd faces a potential conflict of interest because she is to decide on the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station whilst her brother Roland is chairman (and founder) of Finsbury, which represents a construction company with a £100m contract to help build the nuclear plant. The Private Eye report noted that despite the MPs’ register of interests including a new category of 'family members engaged in lobbying' Rudd "makes no mention of her brother or his interests", and added, "The Eye asked the Department of Energy & Climate Change if Rudd had told its permanent secretary about Roland and Finsbury (another conflict of interest procedure) but it did not reply".

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brackwell
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 08:02:56 PM »

http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/decc_to_launch_big_reset_of_solar_subsidies_within_weeks
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Ivan
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2015, 10:52:54 AM »

climate change secretary Amber Rudd said the government was “looking carefully” at solar subsidies in the wake of the overspend 


So, the 'big6' Energy companies now share treasury funds?!


We've seen, numerous times before, government announcements and comments that seem keen on cutting solar tariffs to reduce the burden on government spending. Is this because the government is paying the FITs bill behind closed doors, or is the government trying to pull the wool over our eyes when they're trying to protect the Power Companys' budgets, or are the Chancellor and Treasury staff really too stupid to know the difference between Government and Industry funds?

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Ivan
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 10:54:31 AM »

..oh, and I wonder if the 'within weeks' is a hint that they're planning to do it illegally without proper consultation like they tried to last time.
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Quakered
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2015, 11:28:12 AM »

The original plan behind FiTs was that as it was to be paid by commercial organisations, it did not count as public spending. The European courts ruled at some point that it was public spending as the energy company's had been instructed to pay it by the government (and recover the cost from all their customers).
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Ted
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 12:43:17 PM »

I don't think that is quite what actually happened.

In January 2010 (before FiTs was implemented in March that year) someone at HM Treasury asked someone at the Office for National Statistics for their opinion on how FiTs payments should be considered in governmental budget figures.

The ONS person replied, in their jargon, that they considered it to be a "D.31 subsidy on product imputed via government".

The document that was produced was revealed under a FoI request. It contains many mistakes and misapprehensions about how FiTs actually works so whether the 'unofficial' advice that was given should ever have had the impact that it has done is questionable.

For some time this issue has been the subject of a review that, AFAICS, has not so far seen the light of day.

The European Court has been involved, on several occasions, when asked to adjudicate on whether FiTs was 'state aid' or not - which, of course, is a completely separate issue. They managed to decide that it both was and wasn't (in different cases) depending upon the circumstances.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 12:45:08 PM by Ted » Logged

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RIT
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2015, 02:43:45 AM »

The original plan behind FiTs was that as it was to be paid by commercial organisations, it did not count as public spending. The European courts ruled at some point that it was public spending as the energy company's had been instructed to pay it by the government (and recover the cost from all their customers).

In truth the issue is not about if it is public spending or not,but more about the fact that the cost is paid for by increased costs on all energy users. As an owner of a nice set of panels which earn me so much money that I expect to have their cost and a fair rate of return within 8 years of their installation I can understand while they think changes are required. The problem is that they will use this as a reason to drop the whole thing rather than come up with a schema that works. FITs based installations are costly due to all the paperwork and now the EU ruling that VAT should be at 20% rather than 5%. Unless government can resolve the issues all they are going to do is kill the whole PV market.
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Sprinter
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 08:13:19 AM »

So do we think as a collective that this means that they will reduce FIT's across the board, even for people that already receive FITS, or do we think that this will just affect all new installations?

The reason that i ask is that we have been saving hard to install solar PV and whilst we don't quite have enough to go for it at the moment we are getting close, and if we think its going to affect new installations i might have to take the gamble, get a loan and get on with having the install done straight away rather than continuing to save and pay cash for the install.

i know that we dont have enough information yet to accurately predict what will happen but any advice would be good.

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nominous
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 09:14:11 AM »

FITs based installations are costly due to all the paperwork and now the EU ruling that VAT should be at 20% rather than 5%. Unless government can resolve the issues all they are going to do is kill the whole PV market.

FIT installations are costly because you are getting pay back profit at the end of the term.
The installation companies are making quite high profits on installing them. It has been a very lucrative industry.
Look a the price of a kit, using the same parts. Then bear in mind the VAT is 20% not 5%.
That's an awful lot of very expensive paperwork being done.

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RIT
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 05:06:58 PM »

So do we think as a collective that this means that they will reduce FIT's across the board, even for people that already receive FITS, or do we think that this will just affect all new installations?

The reason that i ask is that we have been saving hard to install solar PV and whilst we don't quite have enough to go for it at the moment we are getting close, and if we think its going to affect new installations i might have to take the gamble, get a loan and get on with having the install done straight away rather than continuing to save and pay cash for the install.

i know that we dont have enough information yet to accurately predict what will happen but any advice would be good.


It's very unlikely that any change will be retrospective as FITs is basically a contract between you and the state, written as a law as the contract/law does not contain any wording that allows retrospective changes. This has already been tested in the UK courts when the government tried to make changes then.

       http://www.fitariffs.co.uk/faqs/category/21/     -  "Why did the Appeal Court rule that the government’s proposed FITs changes were illegal?"

There is a lot of talk at the moment about major changes so if you want to do it, get quotes and plan to have it done as soon as possible.

     
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RIT
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 05:34:04 PM »

FITs based installations are costly due to all the paperwork and now the EU ruling that VAT should be at 20% rather than 5%. Unless government can resolve the issues all they are going to do is kill the whole PV market.

FIT installations are costly because you are getting pay back profit at the end of the term.
The installation companies are making quite high profits on installing them. It has been a very lucrative industry.
Look a the price of a kit, using the same parts. Then bear in mind the VAT is 20% not 5%.
That's an awful lot of very expensive paperwork being done.


It is, each installer who wishes to install under FITs has a high startup cost and then there are ongoing costs to maintain their fits status as it means they have to be MCS certified. Each installation also has extra costs as any sub-contractors used for the installation must also be certificated. Also the info pack provide has its own costs as there is 10 years of product insurance included and it takes time to register all the other certificates and I guess each has issuing costs. After all of the about they then work in a 'closed' market with no published prices, so will try and maintain the highest possible profit margin (they are a business after all). Say that rather a lot seem to have failed over the last few years because they could not make a profit.

The installers also have a major problem due to their man power and processing costs are staying the same or rising, while the cost of what they are installing is dropping rapidly. So 5 years ago they were charging £14,000 to install £10,000 of PV equipment, they are now trying to charge £5,000 to install £3,000 of PV equipment.

All in all FITs and MCS have been like any government designed process - complex and costly. Also as with many such schemes the real costs have been well hidden from the people who are play for them.   
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 03:49:45 PM »

A news article from today, though it doesn't really give any new info on FiTs.

Fresh doubt over future of CfDs as FiT announcement expected ‘shortly’

I was a little shocked at this line:

Quote
The onshore wind industry was also dealt another, albeit expected, blow when the secretary said she "expected" the technology to be absent from all future CfD rounds should they go ahead.

Does anyone know if that's true? I'm really impressed that PV has caught (just about) on-shore wind, but wind is still one of our best resources, and on-shore is cheap and popular. Plus, it's generation strengths are a perfect partner for PV's weaknesses.

Mart.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2015, 09:21:44 AM »

It hasn't taken long for the Tories to truly reveal their colours now the "shackles" of the coalition have been thrown down has it?  Ending the zero carbon house scheme. Systematic attempt to kill off on-shore wind, and now a similar attempt to kill large-scale solar.

Makes you realise how bad a job the Lib Dems did in trumpeting their successes in reining in the Tories for the last 5 years.
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2015, 10:05:22 AM »

And small scale solar farms have now been attacked. Not much left.

Small scale solar energy subsidies set to end

Quote
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly.

"As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies."

She told the BBC's Today programme: "We can't have a situation where industry has a blank cheque, and that cheque is paid for by people's bills.

"We can't have a system, which we've had up to now, where there is basically unlimited [subsidy] headroom for new renewables, including solar."

She conceded that subsidies to the nuclear industry, such as those planned for Hinkley Point, would exceed those going to solar, but she said that nuclear provided "a different type of electricity".
"In the winter, at the moment, solar doesn't really deliver much electricity," she said.

Different type of electricity?

Why doesn't she just point out that PV doesn't generate at night, wind doesn't generate when the wind isn't blowing, and hydro is very poor during long dry summers? While she's at it, she can have a rummage through my DIY toolbox and point out how bad my hammer is at sawing wood.

So much for an integrated mix of renewables to replace FF's.

Mart.
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