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Change to FiTs deadline the right decision – William Powell AM

January 20, 2012 4:22 PM
Originally published by William Powell AM

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, has today welcomed the UK Government's decision to delay its changes to Feed-in-Tariff (FiTs) rates. After losing its case in the High Court, the UK Government has imposed a new registration deadline of 3rd March, with the proposed drastically reduced rates taking effect on 1st April. However, should the UK Government win its appeal; the previous deadline of 12th December, 2011 will still be imposed.

William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, said:

"The change announced by Energy Minister Greg Barker (Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle) is a step in the right direction by the UK Government and I welcome it. As I have previously argued, his decision to impose a drastic change during an on-going consultation was wrong, and had the very real capacity of damaging the UK's burgeoning solar energy industry.

While I and industry experts still maintain that cutting the tariffs for solar PV by over 50% in a single bound is a significant error; I am reassured to see that Mr Barker MP is now giving people a little more time to prepare for any changes.

I continue to call on the UK Government to listen to its own consultation exercise and follow the examples of successful programs around the world where tariff rates have been steadily and sustainably reduced over time, rather than in a single damaging step.

Furthermore, I ask that special consideration be given to large scale community renewable projects, like those run by local authorities, to ensure that they remain cost effective and help us achieve a long-term sustainable future for both Wales and the United Kingdom."