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Government changes to renewable tarrifs threatens 'community' projects

Solar farm  


The government announced changes to subsidies for renewable energy (called Feed in Tariffs) this week that will effectively put an end to ‘community’ power projects like the solar farm that opened in Wedmore, Somerset last month.

The government wants to spend more on off-shore wind farms and less on on-shore wind and solar sites. Off-shore wind is the most expensive renewable power source and investment will only be open to the huge power companies.

Many people think the whole plan is a result of Tory MP’s moaning to government about objections to wind projects in their relatively well-healed constituencies.

If there are objections to wind turbines in the countryside then the tariffs should be concentrated on solar. The cost of solar panels has fallen by more than 50% in the last two years and solar energy is the renewable power source available to most people.

The government has guaranteed EDF huge electricity price rises to pay for nuclear power at Hinckley Point. They should be encouraging genuine community funded solar sites as a cost effective way of increasing our low-carbon power generation.

The Germans have begun a programme of decommissioning nuclear plants and will not be building any more. They are putting their faith in a huge increase in renewables and they are not famous for making bad engineering decisions.

It should be remembered that renewable energy is very much a fledgling industry. The more money that is invested will rapidly accelerate its efficiency and development.



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