Feed-in tariffs receive boost in Energy Bill amendment
19th November 2008
Those campaigning for a tariff-style incentive scheme to kick start small-scale renewable projects, received a boost this week when the Government introduced further concessions to the Energy Bill.
An amendment to the Energy Bill tabled on Monday promises to increase the size of renewable projects that can benefit from feed-in tariffs from three megawatts to five megawatts.
A House of Commons debate this week also agreed to introduce a renewable heat incentive, which would entitle producers of renewable biogas to tariff payments for injecting biogas into the gas network.
“We are delighted the Government has recognized the advantages of a tariff-style incentive scheme which will open doors for small-scale producers of renewable heat, electricity and bio-methane,” said Philip Wolfe, director general at the Renewable Energy Association (REA). “However the devil will be in the detail and the coming year will herald key negotiations over the nature and size of the benefit each technology is to receive.”
The REA and Friends of the Earth have been arguing for the last year that feed-in tariffs are needed to incentivise the small-scale production of renewable heat, electricity and bio-methane.
They held a lobby event in the House of Lords last month featuring a three dimensional 2020 renewable energy town, showing how the tariff measure could lead to entirely self-sufficient towns fed by their own renewable energy.
Last month, Secretary of State for Energy Ed Miliband confirmed the Government would introduce a feed-in tariff amendment to the Energy Bill.
This week also saw the Government tighten its Climate Change Bill, which will be passed into law over the coming days, by imposing a limit on the number of international offsetting credits the UK can buy to meet its carbon emission targets.
A cross-party group of peers had raised concerns that the UK's commitment to an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 would be met by purchasing international offset credits, locking the country into a high-carbon economy instead of tackling climate change through the development of clean technologies and the creation of green jobs.
The amendment will set a limit on carbon units bought in from abroad after taking advice from the independent Committee on Climate Change.