Thursday 10th of January 2019 | Posted In: Generate, Generating energy

Feed-in Tariffs... life in the old dog yet?

Back in the summer of last year, the Government announced the closure of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme in its entirety, meaning that there would be a lack of support for small scale renewables from March this year (see my other blog here).

A further consultation was published, however, and the Government were keen to learn the role that small-scale renewable generation is still able to play in the electricity market. That consultation has coalesced into the proposal of a “Smart Export Guarantee” (SEG) for current and new small scale installations. In summary:

  • Initially, Government had no plans to keep the export tariff available on the closure of the Feed-in Tariff scheme at the end of March 2019
  • A new mechanism by which small scale generators can receive an income for the exported electricity that they generate has been proposed by the government
  • The proposed “Smart Export Guarantee” (SEG) will have to be offered by larger suppliers for exported electricity from small scale generation which will pay the generator a fixed p/kWh for exported electricity
  • The rate that suppliers offer must be above zero and will be a fixed length contract as specified by the supplier
  • Electricity exported must, however, be metered

Potentially this doesn’t put generators in any better position than they currently sit. So existing participants to the FiT are able to claim the guaranteed export (on a ‘deemed’ 50% of their generation for small scale non-metered exporters) while new installations will have to install the relevant metering if they don’t have it in place. On top of this, the rates offered may be so small that it could end up being not worth the bother of registering for it.

Many industry bodies and organisations have welcomed the move, although we are yet to see how the final proposed scheme will materialise. The cynic in me wonders whether the proposed scheme is merely lip service, but only time will tell…

The consultation can be viewed and responded to here – responses are required by the 05 March 2019.