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UK Government Report Confirms Feed in Tariff Rate Review

The government has committed to reviewing the renewable energy Feed in Tariff (FIT) rates in the spending review report published today.  A reduction in FIT rates in the future could threaten small scale householder renewable projects.

The government report says “the efficiency of Feed-in- Tariffs will be improved at the next formal review, rebalancing them in favour of the more cost effective carbon abatement technologies.  This will save £40 million in 2014-15.  Support for lower value innovation and technology projects will also be reduced, saving £70 million a year on average over the Spending Review period.

Which carbon ebatement technologies will be favoured has not been specified…  Given that the electricity customer pays for the Feed in Tariff and not the government – it is not clear why this proposal has been put forward unless it is designed to grab a headline…

The report also says that £200 million will be invested in manufacturing facilities at port sites and technology innovation to support the development of offshore wind power and energy efficiency technology for buildings.  Whether this is £200 million from the government in the form of the previously committed ‘Ports fund’, £200 million from manufacturing companies such as Siemens or a combination of the two is not quite clear…

The news comes after the announcement this week that the government will not be pursuing the £27billion Severn Barrage scheme.  The scheme has the potential to provide 5% of the UK’s energy needs, however Energy secretary Chris Hulne told the BBC “a study had found there was no strategic case for the scheme“.  In the same announcement the anti-nuclear Energy secretary confirmed eight potential sites for nuclear power stations to be built by 2025.  These include Bradwell, Essex, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Sellafield, Sizewell and Wylfa.

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