Good news for AD, cloudy outlook for solar

Published on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 10:29
Posted by Scott Buckler

Progress could now be made on some on-farm AD projects, following an announcement by the Department for Energy and Climate Change on the promised uplift to small-scale biogas tariffs


The result of the ‘fast-track’ review of Feed-In Tariffs earlier in the year, these should have been implemented on August 1. However, the increase was made conditional on EU state aid approval and progress was held up for two months by the European Commission, which has now rubber-stamped the new tariffs.

The changes to the generation tariffs take effect automatically, and will apply to AD installations with an eligibility date from 30 September 2011 - the date of the Commission’s decision. Details are as follows:

Anaerobic digestion plant up to 250 kilowatts – 14p/kWh
Anaerobic digestion plant 250-500 kilowatts – 13p/kWh

These represent a 16 and a seven per cent increase, respectively, on the previous 2011-2012 tariff of 12.1p/kWh.

NFU chief adviser on renewable energy Dr Jonathan Scurlock said: “We hope that some previously marginal on-farm AD projects will now progress, although these tariffs alone are unlikely to result in the rapid growth in farm-based AD that we need to deliver multiple environmental benefits.

“We have also heard about the possibility of another big cut to the future levels of solar PV tariffs, to take place sooner than the anticipated reduction in FITs planned for April 2012. With the uptake of solar electricity this year vastly exceeding previous government predictions, pressure to manage the FITs budget could result in drastic reductions to tariff rates earlier than expected, this time hitting the small-to-medium scale (under 50 kilowatts).”

Source: NFU

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