Following a consultation, the government has finalised its plans to close export and generation tariffs as part of the Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) Scheme, ending on 31 March 2019.
In 2015, the government confirmed its intention to close the generation tariff from March 2019, and the consultation (which ended in September) proposed to close the export tariff at the same time.
The government will continue with this course of action, despite acknowledging that the majority of respondents to the consultation were against closing the export tariff.
This means that no new applications for accreditation under the FIT scheme will be accepted after 31 March 2019, subject to a number of time-limited extensions.
Solar Trade Association (STA) Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has taken this decision even before it sets out how it will overcome a really fundamental market failure that risks seeing new solar homes put power on the grid for free from next April. At a bare minimum, the government should retain the export tariff until an effective, alternative way to fairly remunerate solar power is implemented.
“Nobody is saving any money here because the export tariff is not a subsidy. Last month, Energy Minister Claire Perry said that she would not allow a situation where solar generators would have to give away their power for free.
“We urgently need her to set out the detail behind plans for an export floor price as soon as possible to prevent the uncertainty that today’s announcement will create from damaging market confidence any further. The STA has proposed a number of viable options, so there is no justifiable reason for delay.”
The consultation response and additional details can be found here.