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Feed in Tariff - End date, Alternatives, Rates for 2019


Other Types of Energy Tariff:


Feed-in Tariff scheme closure in March 2019

The government has curtailed all new applications as of March 2019. Households who successfully applied before the end date will not be affected. However, if you are looking for a way to partially defray the cost of new solar panels, then the Feed-in Tariff is no longer a valid option.

The Feed-in Tariff scheme was a government-run incentive programme that compensated home energy prosumers who generated sufficient power to feed back into the grid. The goal of this scheme was to encourage renewable electricity production at small-scale and local levels to reduce reliance on utility-scale fossil fuel power plants. The scheme is widely regarded as successful in driving adoption of solar PV technology in the UK, since its inception 2010.


The end of the Feed-in Tariff?

For anyone who hasn’t already signed up for a Feed-in Tariff, that ship has now sailed. The scheme closed to new applications on 1 April 2019. This closure did not come out of left field because the government agreed on this end date through legislation in December 2018.

While the end of the feed-in tariff is subject to a hard deadline in the majority of cases, there are some notable loopholes:

  1. Educational and community sustainable energy projects that applied on or before 31 March 2019 would have still been able to benefit from the standard validity period for the given project.
  2. Low carbon installations able to generate up to 50kW are eligible for the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Sites that obtained their MCS certificate on or before 31 March 2019 have the benefit of an extended deadline to get into the FiT Scheme. These applicants will have until 31 March 2020.
  3. Clean energy sites that can prove they applied for preliminary accreditation before 31 March 2019 will be eligible for a grace period to complete their FiT application. The most common example would be 6 months for solar PV installations.
  4. ROO-FiT high-capacity sites (with a declared capacity in excess of 50kW) that had a preliminary accreditation ending after 31 March 2019 who suffered application delays outside their responsibility. An example of these delays would be outages caused by grid repairs. These applicants have a 12-month grace period starting from the end of the period of validity.

feed in tariff cost

Considering the complex nature of renewable sources, big and small, it is perfectly understandable that the government put in place the above exceptions. A complete dismantling of the scheme would have wrought havoc on the UK renewable power industry. It would have had a significant impact on every segment of the market: from the installation companies and the national grid to the financial services that enable the sort of scalable investment that makes renewable electricity generation possible for individual households, local communities and businesses.

What about existing participants?

The Feed-in Tariff will continue to operate for the next 20 to 25 years with rates tracking the Retail Price Index (RPI) as a measure of inflation. The scheme goes both ways since FiT participants have to keep up with their responsibilities with regards to new energy systems, smart metering, home battery installation and increased energy production capacity.

There are some interesting alternatives but nothing that represents a direct replacement. If you did sign up before the end date, FiT still has several key benefits:

  • Lower your electric consumption by using the energy you make instead of power from the National Grid.
  • Get paid for the electricity you generate on a regular basis.
  • Sell back your unused electricity back to the grid when there is demand.

Feed-in Tariff rates for 2019

Here are the up-to-date rates for the FiT Scheme:

1. Solar Energy

The most popular of all the possible renewable energy sources for small-scale projects is easily solar power. The United Kingdom came in fourth place in a 2015 global report that looked at global energy capacity. This is definitely quite a feat considering the reputation British weather has earned over the years.

Solar PV Export Rate

Applicable Dates Tariff (p/kWh)
01/08/2012 - p.d. 5.38
01/04/2010 - 31/07/2012 3.82

 

Standard Solar photovoltaic - high rate

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-10 3.79
10-50 4.03
50-250 1.69

 

Standard Solar photovoltaic - middle rate

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-10 3.41
10-50 3.63
50-250 1.52

 

Standard Solar photovoltaic - low rate

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-10 0.15
10-50 0.15
50-250 0.15

 

Standard large solar photovoltaic site (more than 250kW)

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
250-1000 1.33
1000-5000 0.15

 

Stand-alone solar photovoltaic site

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-5000 0.05

2. Wind and Hydroelectric Energy

While land-based wind energy is fairly evenly spread out across all of the UK, its greatest potential lies in its use in rural areas. Bear in mind that offshore wind turbines remain very much large scale affairs. On the other hand, small scale hydroelectric is primarily based in the North East, East Midlands and North West areas of England according to a 2016 report by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Wind power

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-50 8.24
50-100 4.87
100-1500 1.55
1500-5000 0.47

 

Hydro power

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-100 8.03
100-500 6.46
500-2000 6.46
2000-5000 4.73

Notice how the Total Installed capacity tariff ranges differ between wind and hydroelectric power. This due to the way that power generation can ramp up much quicker with hydroelectric power than with wind.

3. Bio-generation and CHP

England, followed closely by Scotland, lead in the bio-generation race with Yorkshire and the Humber representing the most bounteous region for green gas. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland handily outperforms all other parts of the UK when it comes to Anaerobic digestion capacity (breaking down organic materials into usable biogas in an airtight container).

Anaerobic digestion

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-250 4.50
250-500 4.27
500-5000 1.54

 

Combined Heat and Power

 

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Total Installed Capacity (kW) Tariff (p/kWh)
0-2 14.52

Alternatives to the FiT Scheme

With hindsight, it’s clear that schemes like the Feed-in Tariff are little more than stepping stones towards a brighter energy future of microgrids and seamless energy trading at all levels of the energy vertical: from local communities to large producers. Let’s take a quick look at what all this entails.

Microgrids: efficient means local

Microgrids are normally local subsets of the national grid and local distribution infrastructure that operate with some degree of autonomy thanks to renewables. Small-scale energy producers can benefit from microgrids because they allow for local communities to arrange their supply and call upon nearby energy producers. This, in turn, represents a more efficient approach to energy supply because distribution loss is reduced as the distance between the energy producer and energy consumer is cut down significantly.

Blockchain: enabling neighbourhood trading

Blockchain is a type of network infrastructure that focusses on the seamless trading of whatever has value without needing a middleman to vouch for transactions. Alongside microgrids, blockchain makes it easier for neighbours and small communities to be able to exchange and trade around energy generation and storage at a small-scale.