UK to launch feed-in tariff program

Climate Change Law Practice Group Blog

July 28, 2009

The UK appears to be following in the footsteps of Ontario. The UK's Energy Act 2008 provided the Department of Energy and Climate Change ("DECC") with broad enabling powers for the introduction of FITs for small-scale low-carbon electricity generation, up to a maximum limit of 5 megawatts (MW) capacity (50 kilowatts (KW) in the case of fossil fuelled combined heat and power). DECC has now commenced public consultations on a proposed feed-in tariff ("FIT") regime.

The proposal is detailed here, an is supported by an impact assessment, quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis. Paul Gipe, long time advocate for FITs, provides his take on the proposal here.

Like the Ontario program, the UK proposal places a lot of emphasis on small scale projects, particularly solar PV. Unlike Ontario's program, however, the UK proposal caps all projects at 5 MW. If passed, the UK program may therefore create competing demand for services and equipment for small scale generation. The UK has already created competing demand for services and equipment for utility-scale projects through its Renewable Obligation program.