A lack of proposals from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the replacement of the feed-in tariff for small-scale renewables has been criticised by the renewable energy industry.

The UK Government has launched a consultation over the closure of the feed-in tariff on 31 March 2019, but has not announced a policy to replace it, instead launching a call for evidence looking for views on future support for renewables.

The consultation followed comments made in the House of Commons by Energy Minister Claire Perry, who said ministers must not “create something that again creates a bonanza… for people who are gaming the system that puts up bills for consumers”.

Leonie Greene, Director of Advocacy and New Markets at the Solar Trade Association, branded Perry’s comments about bonanzas as “perplexing”.

‘Too little, too late’ for companies

The consultation also included proposals to end the export tariff for new projects.

James Court, Head of Policy & External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “While nobody in the industry was expecting an 11th hour reprieve for the feed-in tariff, the removal of the ‘export tariff’ for new projects will lead to the truly bizarre situation where consumers who own technologies such as solar will give electricity they don’t consume to the grid for free.”

Industry groups condemned the lack of a solid policy that would support solar and wind projects.

Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director at trade body RenewableUK, warned: “The Government has known the FiT would be closing for three years and the fact that they are only now beginning the conversation about new policies is far too little, far too late for many companies.”

Hannah Smith, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said that the lack of clarity had “already forced businesses into liquidation and created significant uncertainty as to whether small-scale energy generation can survive in the UK”.

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