Hundreds of projects, millions of pounds of investment and many thousands of jobs are said to be at risk because of the decision to remove preliminary accreditation from the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, according to groups involved in the sector.
A joint statement from seven renewable energy associations says the DECC policy followed consultation that was “deeply flawed”, with no impact assessment being carried out and insufficient time for a proper process. The move was announced on 22 July and confirmed on 9 September.
Preliminary accreditation gave renewable energy companies financial support in the difficult period before they start generating. The seven groups, including Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association and the Renewable Energy Association, say the move will hit individuals, farmers, businesses, investors and communities looking to generate their own power.
DECC is currently undertaking a review of the FiT and has said that preliminary accreditation could be brought back. However, the associations say officials have failed to enter into “meaningful” dialogue around the changes and urged them to do so.
The joint statement read: “This change is bad for business and bad for energy security. Renewable energy is not a ‘nice to have’: it generates more electricity than coal and provides employment in manufacturing and in the rural economy.”
It added that it had a “desire to work in a spirit of co-operation with the Government, and find a route forwards that allows many more people to benefit from installing renewables on their rooftops, farms or businesses, while helping to manage costs for all consumers”.
The other five organisations backing the statement are Community Energy England, Regen SW, RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables and the Solar Trade Association.