Ten organisations have joined forces to call for the Government to set out the future of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) urgently because of concerns about investment in renewable energy.
The scheme supports small, business-scale, renewable energy installations, such as anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, but uncertainty has hit investment in the sector.
The FiT is currently set to close in 2019, and a proposed consultation on what will happen after that is now a year overdue.
The group, listed below, has written a joint letter to the business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis) secretary Greg Clark, saying: “Without a viable route to a market, the benefits that small-scale low-carbon energy projects can deliver to the UK risk being lost.”
The letter argues that the FiT has supported much of the UK’s small-scale, low-carbon generation, not only helping to meet the UK’s energy needs and carbon targets, but contributing to the Government’s policy ambition through a “dynamic, smart and flexible low-carbon energy system”.
“Crucially, local low-carbon energy resources have been fundamental in giving small businesses greater control over their energy costs and use – and have helped create additional income in some instances.
“Investor confidence in the sector is waning, with developers increasingly looking to invest elsewhere. UK communities and business, as well as industry, risk missing the opportunities that come with developing a vibrant small-scale energy sector.”
Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, said: “The UK’s AD industry has already delivered so much, powering more than a million homes and reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1%, particularly in challenging areas such as agriculture.
“With the right support, however, it could meet 30% of current household electricity demand, quadruple its contribution to reducing GHG emissions and provide 30,000 rural jobs.
“The absence of a FiT post-March 2019 is a serious threat to the viability of the UK AD industry and its ability to contribute to meeting a wide range of policy goals.
“We urge Beis to set out a sustainable future for small-scale, low-carbon energy projects such as AD beyond 2019 to give reassurance to what is such a crucial industry for meeting climate goals in the UK.”
The full list of organisations:
- Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association
- Community Energy Scotland
- Country Land & Business Association
- National Farmers Union, Scotland
- Scottish Land and Estates
- Scottish Renewables
- Solar Trade Association