The number of new solar power farms built in Britain has been decimated since the Tory Brit-Govt slashed renewable energy subsidies in the ‘Rudd Re-set’ – named after the then British energy minister – two years ago.
According to independent new analysis of Brit-Govt data by Energi Mine, predictions of plummeting investment in solar panels since Feed-in tariffs (FiT) were cut in 2016 have come true.
In the past year the number of installations has plummeted to a seven-year low – despite the total costs of installation dropping by over 70%.
In 2011, the typical cost of an installed 4kW domestic solar photovoltaic system was around £14,000. This can now be installed as little as £4,000 in 2018. But with feed-in tariffs stalled at only 3.93 pence/kWh – compared to an average consumer price of 13 pence/kWh – there is little incentive to feed back to the grid when generating excess energy.
Omar Rahim, Energi Mine chief executive, explained:
“In the two years since the government cut the Feed-in tariff (FiT) by more than 60%, the number of new solar photovoltaic installations** has plummeted from over 26,000 a month in December 2015 to less than a tenth of that two years later – just 2,422 – in January 2018.
“However, at the same time we are paying more than ever for our electricity. Habitual change can only take hold if people are financially incentivised and rewarded. Much like the introduction of charges for plastic bags, financial rewards need to be introduced for energy saving behaviour to deliver the necessary results.
“From an environmental standpoint, while we are currently meeting our targets, we will see a deficit in our carbon emission goals by the late 2020s. This is not good enough and it is time for a radical rethink to get people to change the way they interact with energy, and the consequential carbon emissions, for the long term.”
Rebate programmes, such as FiT can help stimulate the grassroots creation of renewable energy, especially solar energy which is one of the cheapest sources of electricity.
He added: “As well as benefiting the environment with a reduction in greenhouse gasses, this should also benefit the consumer with a drop in energy bills, but the shift in government policy in 2016 has undermined that progress.
“However, the technology is available for a peer-to-peer marketplace to pave the way to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as bring transparency to pricing that is kept superficially high by global monopolies.
“At Energi Mine we are creating an energy marketplace where solar generators can make peer-to-peer trades and sell excess energy <back to National Grid>. Combining energy trading with rewarding energy saving behaviour is the most effective way to make our use and generation of electricity more efficient.”
** Data sources:
- Monthly deployment of all solar photovoltaic capacity in the United Kingdom. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment
- Energy Trends and Energy Prices publications are published today 29 March 2018 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The publications cover new data for the fourth quarter of 2017 and thus provisional annual data for 2017.
5 Apr 2018