Feed-in-tariff penalises small wind farmers with 77% collapse in demand

wind_farmBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Urgent changes are needed to the Feed-in Tariff – the system designed to support smaller-scale renewable energy generation – according to a new report by Renewable UK.

Renewable UK’s ‘Small and Medium Wind UK Market Report’ provides an annual update on the industry’s progress through a detailed survey of manufacturers. The report reveals that the current Feed-in Tariff policy is unduly penalising the small-scale wind industry with deployment rates in the sub-15kW wind market collapsing by 77%.

Louisa Coursey, Small & Medium Wind Development Manager, Renewable UK, said: “The message that comes across loud and clear from this year’s report is that it is essential for Government to make key changes to the current system in order to recognise the different needs between scales of wind generators.

“These changes are simple, cost neutral and could be implemented quickly, but would have a significant effect on returning the sector to confidence. It would be a crying shame if we allowed this Great British success story to fail, losing what has become a significant part of the rural economy. Right now, small and medium wind supports thousands of jobs, and provides clean electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes across the country. We need to do everything we can to protect and build upon this”.

The medium wind market on the other hand, has progressed admirably, with 70 megawatts (MW) of capacity deployed in 2014 alone. The report said that the Government needs to ensure that appropriate levels of support are maintained in order to sustain the industry’s significant contributions to renewable energy and carbon targets.

Since 2012, small and medium wind turbines have increased their electricity generation to over 391 gigawatt hours, this is the equivalent of providing over 93,000 UK households with electricity, as well as saving 168,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. In 2014 the UK’s small and medium wind’s market revenue exceed £174 million.

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