UK unveils new feed-in tariffs for renewables


After the UK’s scrapping of feed-in tariffs for solar energy feed-in to the country’s grid in April, and a massive drop in residential and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations in that month, and May 2019, the UK government has finalised it’s new Small Export Guarantee.

The new laws will ensure that homes and business operating small-scale renewable technologies such as solar or wind panels, with a capacity of up to 5MW are remunerated for energy exported to the grid. Smart meters will track feed-in.

The new legislation obligates energy suppliers with a customer base greater than 150,000 to introduce new feed-in tariffs by the 1st of January 2020. The legislation effectively covers 90% of the country’s energy market.

Some energy supplier such as Octopus Energy and E.ON are already offering new tariffs, with some offering higher payments than the scheme.

According to the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the cost of solar panels for residential homes are half of what they were in 2011.

The new scheme is intended to continue the development of small-scale, local renewable energy, and is expected to help bridge the gap in the country’s transition to a smarter, more efficient energy system including technologies such as battery storage, and the UK’s ongoing smart meter rollout.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said: “The future of energy is local and the new smart export guarantee will ensure households that choose to become green energy generators will be guaranteed a payment for electricity supplied to the grid.

“We want the energy market to innovate and it’s encouraging to see some suppliers already offering competitive export tariffs to reduce bills. We want more to follow suit, encouraging small-scale generation without adding to consumer bills, as we move towards a subsidy-free energy system and a net zero emissions economy.”

Greg Jackson, Chief Executive of Octopus Energy added: “These smart export tariffs are game changing when it comes to harnessing the power of citizens to tackle climate change. They mean homes and businesses can be paid for producing clean electricity just like traditional generators, replacing old dirty power stations and pumping more renewable energy into the grid.

“This will help bring down prices for everyone as we use cheaper power generated locally by our neighbours.”

UK energy regulator Ofgem will present an annual report the steps taken by energy suppliers for small-scale grid feed-in suppliers, including the range, nature and uptake of the scheme’s tariffs. This report will be monitored by the government to ensure compliance.