What Are The Effects of Changes to Solar Energy Feed-In-Tariffs?
Feed-in-tariffs are the biggest driving force behind integration of renewable technologies into public and private building in the last 10 years; it has caused the huge uptake of solar panels across the world. In recent years changes in silicon production have severely reduced the cost of solar cells technology, making solar technology a great investment. The uptake of solar technology across the world has really caused a huge expansion of the industry from 2010 – 2011, however with many governments deciding to remove grants and reduce Feed-in-tariffs many people have stopped investing in solar energy.
Most solar suppliers and installers understand that some grants and feed-in-tariffs must decrease due to the large strains on public finances over the coming years, though many experts are beginning to see potential problems in the future as investment dwindles. A great example of this is the recent changes in the UK feed-in-tariffs.
The UK Governments changes to the feed-in-tariffs have affected the solar energy industry with lots of high profile clients either reducing the number of solar panels been installed or completely postponing the solar panel projects. A great example of this is the 500 Cambridgeshire council homes that have had solar panels installed. This is less than 25% of the original 2300 homes the authority planned in early 2011.
With solar feed-in-tariffs changed on April 1st, many solar panel companies are looking to diversify into other possible renewable solutions. Some of the major solar panel companies are been forced to expand into new markets aboard or reduce costs. The second option which I fear many solar installers will be forced to make will lead to a massive cut in staff numbers and skilled workers in the industry. Further information is required before the full effect of all the government’s plans will be known.