European Photovoltaic Industry asks British Government to think twice how it will review its Feed-in Tariff

In view of the announced anticipated review of the UK Feed-in Tariff one year ahead of schedule, the European PV association asks the UK government to take all the necessary caution to let the market deploy and avoid destabilizing many British communities and companies which are starting to invest.

Gathering this week in London, representatives of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association called on the UK government to act very carefully in the next months when reconsidering the current Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme. They stressed the importance of developing a sustainable solar energy market in the long term by providing a stable and reliable framework.

Many companies have already invested to build-up an entire new solar power sector, this early review of the FiT which risks an unusually long period of uncertainty could put many projects at stake and put a break on this nascent market before it has properly started.

“In times of economic crisis, it is essential to encourage the development of a promising sector such as photovoltaic’s which can create thousands of local jobs” said Eleni Despotou, Secretary General of EPIA. “The UK should raise its ambition and widely deploy PV, a decentralized well proven renewable electricity generation technology. According to estimates by EPIA UK has been identified as having the fifth largest technical potential for PV in Europe. The UK also has significant existing manufacturing as well as new opportunities.”

The UK solar power photovoltaic market kicked-off in April 2010 with the introduction of an encouraging Feed-in Tariff which has triggered great interest and expectations. Projections foresee that in 2011 already 17,000 people will be employed locally by the PV sector. Reviewing the feed-in tariff scheme today, one year ahead of schedule, is raising strong concerns among the photovoltaic community which needs long term visibility to attract the necessary investments.

EPIA is willing to provide any advice to the UK Government given its experience of FiT reviews, in order to secure as much stability as possible to the emerging UK industry.