Builders and plumbers merchant group Grafton believes the renewable industry will benefit from the government’s decision to take its appeal to the Supreme Court.
Paul Roche, director of sustainability and renewables at Grafton Group believes that the limited funds available to stimulate the industry will last longer as a result of the decision.
The renewables industry has stalled while a final decision is taken about whether the Government’s reduction of the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) on 12 December was unlawful because it happened before the end of the consultation period.
Installations have fallen away dramatically since then because building owners are wary about adopting PV when they can’t be sure what price they will receive from the Government.
The revised date of 3 March is now legally set as the point beyond which FITs will be halved from 43p to 21p. When installations begin to recover, the incentives will be paid at the new lower rate, thus making the ‘pot’ go further.
“Inadvertently, the government has achieved its aim to stretch out the capped funds available,” says Roche. “However, the fundamental issues still remain that the fund was arbitrarily fixed as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, back in November 2010, and is now out of line with the current economic picture. This, coupled with the projected link to the installation of energy efficiency measures, make the long-term prospects for PV look bleak.”
“The sustainable energy industry remains one of the few success stories where there is potential to generate immediate growth, employment and, equally important, energy security for the UK. The government would be well-advised to use this period of uncertainty to devise a strategic plan that allows the potential of this industry to be realised, for the benefit of the economy as a whole.”