Build Magazine July 2015

Build Magazine 41 biomass conversions and co-firing projects for the duration of the Renewable Obligation, also known as grandfathering; launching a consulta- tion on controlling subsidies for solar PV of 5MW and below under the Renewables Obligation and hosting consultation on changes to the pre- liminary accreditation rules under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme followed by a wider review of the scheme to drive significant further savings. Additionally the Government intends to set out totals for the LCF beyond 2020, providing a basis for electricity investment into the next decade and lay out its plans in the autumn in re- spect of future CFD allocation rounds. Rudd indicated that a reduction in costs within the industry meant that subsidies were no longer necessar- ily required. “My priorities are clear. We need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way. Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy signif- icantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive with- out subsidies. We’re taking action to protect consumers, whilst protecting existing investment”. The Government has provided vital financial support to the renewable sector which has helped to establish it by aiding the development of new and innovative technologies, reduced household emissions, and increased the amount of low-carbon electricity that powers homes and businesses across the UK. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s latest projections show that subsidies raised from bills ment policies including the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme set to continue to provide support this year to low-income and vulnerable households, reflecting the fact that ECO delivered 97% of home improve- ments in the last two years. These reviews and stoppages of funding could also affect jobs and companies, with the potential for serious loss of income for firms which rely on the subsidies to drive sales. It will also reduce the impact of David Cameron’s recent energy efficien- cy drive, during which he made impassioned speeches on reducing the impact of climate change. In February the Prime Minister spoke to the DECC’s energy efficiency mission in which he declared that climate change “is a vital part of how we cut carbon emissions and continue to meet the ambitious targets set out in the Climate Change Act, which will allow us to meet growing energy demand in a way that protects the environment for our children, grand- children and generations to come.” These words will doubtless come back to haunt Cameron as the industry feels the effects of these savage cuts. are currently set to be higher than expected when the schemes under the LCF were set up. This is due to a number of uncontrollable factors such as lower wholesale electricity prices, higher than expected uptake of the demand-led Feed in Tariffs and the Renewables Obligation (such as solar panels on roofs) and a faster than expected advancement in the efficiency of the technology, meaning renewables are projected to generate more electricity than previously projected. This has led to these announce- ments which will drastically impact on the industry, with the subsidiaries encouraging customers to invest in the technology and subsequently driving growth in the industry, which may potentially slow down with the removal of the grants. The Government has also commis- sioned an independent review to be led by Peter Bonfield to look at standards, consumer protection and enforcement of energy efficiency schemes and en- sure that the system properly supports and protects consumers. Some funding schemes will remain in place for now, with current Govern- Eco Building