End to solar farm blight as subsidy scheme is scrapped
Well. It’s been well flagged and now the DECC has issued it’s consultation document which many will see as the beginning of the end for utility scale solar farms. The Telegraph certainly thinks so in this article which will delight it’s readership.
Even though the DECC statement suggests that support for these large scale projects will cease in April 2015, it does suggest that those schemes which have already attracted significant ‘commitment’ at todays date would continue to receive the support. Whatever comfort this may give to developers and their funders will be snatched away by text buried deep in the text to the effect that ‘if things change, we may decide that this isn’t appropriate’. Any banks or institutions considering funding such a scheme will run a mile in the face of such uncertainty which may of course have been the whole intention.
The government know that these schemes are often deeply unpopular and supporting unpopular things does not elections win.
Cynicism aside, switching support to medium scale roof based systems does actually make sense. If the energy is consumed at source then less needs to be imported and less is exported to the grid. Solar farms in rural locations usually require substantial connection upgrades to enable the electricity to be moved from where it is produced to where it is required. Rooftop PV helps factories, warehouses, schools and shopping centres reduce their vulnerability to the country’s weak energy position and should be encouraged. Voters in marginal constituencies in the south of England will like it too.