Some small Scottish renewable firms were “forced into liquidation” yesterday by the UK Government’s decision to shutdown the Feed-in-Tariff scheme, according to an industry body.
Scottish Renewables accused the government of causing “significant uncertainty” and that the proposed closure of the scheme has “worrying consequences for the already struggling small-scale renewables sector” in Scotland.
Announced yesterday, the decision also resulted in the UK Government issuing a ‘call for evidence’ on the future for small-scale low-carbon generation.
Intended as a payment to small business for generating their own energy, the scheme was planned for closure in 2019, but a consultation on its future was a year overdue.
Hannah Smith, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, labeled the decision a “risk to jobs” and deployment of low-carbon energy.
She said: “While we are pleased to see this consultation published, it has some worrying consequences for the already struggling small-scale renewables sector.
“The picture for this part of our industry isn’t especially rosy. Since previous cuts to the Feed-in Tariff there has been a drop off in deployment of technologies such as hydro schemes and small-scale wind.
“That, coupled with considerable delay to the publication of this consultation, has already forced businesses into liquidation and created significant uncertainty as to whether small-scale energy generation can survive in the UK.
Reacting to the announcement, the director of the UK industry body RenewableUK called the decision a “major blow” to small scale renewables.
Emma Pinchbeck said: “Today’s confirmation that there will be no replacement for the Feed-in Tariff is a major blow to small-scale renewables in the UK. The Government has known the FiT would be closing for three years and the fact that they are only now beginning the conversation about new policies is far too little, far too late for many companies.
“Small-scale renewables technologies are a vital part of creating the more local, smart power networks that will be central to the UK’s future energy system. Companies in the sector have helped tens of thousands of homes and businesses to cut their energy costs, and have grown into a thriving industry that exports around the world. They have been waiting, at great cost, for the Government to issue today’s consultation for over a year.”