30,000 projects connected in first year of FIT

4th May 2011


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  • Renewable ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Energy

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IEMA

More than 29,000 UK homeowners have taken advantage of the government's financial incentive to generate their own low-carbon energy since the launch of the feed-in tariff (FIT) 12 months ago.

Figures from DECC show that 97% of the 30,140 installations now connected to the grid under the FIT are domestic, 5% more than energy minister Greg Barker estimated in his announcement in March proposing dramatic changes to the scheme.

Photovoltaic solar panels have proven to be the most popular system by far accounting for 95% of installations with more than 28,500 up and running by the end of March.

Wind power comes second with just 1,329 turbines currently operating. Hydro, micro combined heat and power and anaerobic digestion systems account for just 1% of projects under the scheme.

Launched in April 2010, the FIT aims to encourage the uptake of small-scale renewable energy generation by paying for the electricity they create and DECC’s figures reveal that at the end of its first full year, the electricity generating capacity of such projects has risen from 15MW to 111MW.

However, the scheme was created as a part of the government’s wider strategy to meet the EU targets to source 15% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 111MW amounts to just 0.1% of the UK's total electricity generation.

In light of the government’s controversial fast-track review of the FIT scheme, which aims to ensure its funding goes to small-scale projects rather than solar farm type installations above 50kW, it is interesting to note that of the 911 non-domestic systems online only five solar PV installations fall into this category.

When confirming the figures a spokesperson for DECC confirmed that the review was not reflective of the current levels of deployment but in anticipation of a high number of such projects in the future.

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