Government cuts back support for solar farms
Large-scale solar projects will be unable, from next year, to access one of the key support mechanisms for renewable technologies, under new plans unveiled by the government.
In its Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Strategy, which was published in April, the government confirmed its intention to shift the emphasis for growth in the solar sector away from ground-mounted developments and to the UK’s 250,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops.
The decision reflected growing concerns over the speed at which large-scale solar continued to be deployed in the UK. Industry projections indicated that, by 2017, significantly more solar might be built than the 4GW deemed affordable by the government as part of its budget for low-carbon power.
In a consultation, issued on 13 May, the government proposed to close the Renewables Obligation (RO) to solar developments of above 5MW from April 2015. This is two years earlier than the mechanism, which has subsidised renewables projects since 2002, will close to other technologies.
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