The Feed in tariff and Roof Leasing
2 years, 4 months ago #1
The Feed in Tariff (FiT) has been with us now for over a year and is having a very good effect. On the small scale photovoltaic installations, take up has been good but there seems to be a missed opportunity here. Local Government have been inundated with roof lease schemes from a whole variety of players. However, with very few exceptions all of these schemes have been heaviliy stacked in favour of the invester/developer and offer precious little incentive to the property owner to take a legal risk on leasing out their roof.
The FiT is of course funded by the energy bill payer and as such (certainly in terms of PV), the South of England is being subsidised by the North. Moreover, the fuel poor are subsidising the fuel rich to install this technmology and provide themselves with energy security and a guaranteed income. Given the very generous offerings from the generation tariff, there us benefit here that could be more equitably shared between homeowner and invester.
It seems that with a more benevolent approach to roof lease schemes. If capital offerings were prepared to accept a little less than the typical 9-10 return on investment (RoI) typical of south facing installations, and make the benefits to the householder greater than simply offering them free energy, there might be interest in councils and housing asssociations seriously promoting such schemes that would increase the take up of PV, reduce its risk, offer energy security, improve scale economies and reduce the reliance on centralised power production whilst at the same time producing clean energy and reducing carbon emissions. Moreover, we might actually be able to realistically tackle fuel poverty with a meaningful and practical solution. There are many wins here. I remain surprised that no-one is taking a more altruistic approach in this area and making an equitable offering from what is perhaps the best financial incentice over 25 years the governmment has ever offered. No-one seems to have the vision to see the huge and long term potential here.