This week British Gas reported an 11% rise in profits. A particularly cold snap was to thank for a 12% increase in gas consumption that was worth £606 million to the energy giant.
British Gas’s profit announcement comes less than four months after the supplier upped its tariffs by 6.5%. According to the Express, the average annual British Gas energy bill has risen from £543 in 2004, to £821 in 2008, and now stands at £1,336.
What’s more concerning is that energy bills in the UK are only going one way – up. Outgoing Ofgem Chief Executive, Alistair Buchanan, said that he expects the impending closure of around 10% of the UK’s generation capacity within the next month to lead to an over-reliance on imported energy. He said: “Ofgem estimates that, by 2020, 60% to 70% of our generation may have to come from gas to fill the gap. That’s up from about 30% today.”
The UK’s over-reliance on volatile global gas markets means that more energy bill price rises are inevitable. But there is another way.
A large 4kW domestic solar PV system can now be purchased for around £7,000 (the same amount of money the average British Gas customer spends in five years).
Ofgem has confirmed the feed-in tariff rates for solar photovoltaic technology beginning November 1. The rates are as Solar Power Portal reported earlier this month, and are as follows:
Fit Rate (p/kWh)
<4kW New Build
<4kW Retro Build
4 – 10kW
10 – 50kW
50 – 100kW
100 – 150kW
150 – 250kW
250kW – 5MW
Commenting on the news, Paul Williams, CEO of Freetricity, spoke out against the tri-monthly degression model put in place by Government: “With only around 1000 solar installs being done across the whole of the UK in the first three weeks of August – two per installer company – and a solar industry on its knees, a further digression of the FiT programme in November will just heap more misery on the green energy sector .
“This at a time when Government are wanting to promote the green deal, desperately need economic growth and job creation and are encouraging businesses like Freetricity to export our knowledge and expertise to new markets. In order to flourish, the industry needs German and American style tangible long term consistent support.”
The November rates will be the first round of FiT cuts enacted und...
Industry has greeted changes to the solar FiT scheme with mixed emotions.
The beginning of August marks the first day of the new feed-in tariff model for solar photovoltaics in the UK. From today, FiT rates will once more be revised downward along with the tariff lifetime as part of a new degression model.
The two largest changes that come into effect this morning will be the dropping of the FiT rates and the reduction in tariff lifetime. The headline FiT figure for <4kWp is being cut down to 16p from 21p; completing a 63 percent drop in subsidy from March this year. The full FiT levels eligible from August 1, 2012 are laid out below:
Standard generation tariff (p/kWh)
Multi-installation tariff (p/kWh)
Lower tariff (if energy efficiency requirement not met) (p/kWh)
4kW (new build)
As part of the new tariff structure, tri-monthly degressions of 3.5 percent will take place. However, the degressions can be delayed or brought forward depending on insta...
New figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that install rates are continuing to climb ahead of the next round of feed-in tariff cuts, due on August 1.
The UK solar industry installed 18MW of capacity in the week ending July 22, equating to 3,995 installations less than 50kWp. The increase in installations is in anticipation of the FiT rate being slashed from 21p to 16p under the newly-introduced degression model.
The department also revised the figures published for the previous week, which initially showed just over 3,000 arrays were installed. The new figures show that 4,186 installations were completed last week – an increase of 4MW from the initial 13MW published.
Although the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, introduced the new feed-in tariff structure to “end the boom and bust cycle” in the industry, 48 percent of Solar Power Portal readers believe that the upcoming August 1 cut will strangle installations further, causing some installers to stop operating.
Solar Power Portal
Author: Petter Bennett
The solar industry has welcomed new figures revealing the market is gradually recovering from deep cuts to the popular feed in tariff incentive scheme, which effectively halted growth across the sector last month.
Deployment of solar PV has increased steadily at around 620 kilowatts per week since the start of April, according to a report published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) late last week.
Demand collapsed after the government changed the rules governing the scheme and halved the level of incentives available from April 1. The number of installations dropped to 885 in the first week of April, creating around 2.5MW of new capacity – a huge reduction on the tens of thousands of installations undertaken during February and March.
However, provisional figures show that 1,788 solar installations were completed in the week ending 3 June, creating around 6.4MW of new capacity. The figure is less than the 2,186 installations in the last week of May, however the June 3 figure is likely to be revised upwards slightly as new information is collected.
Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, said he was confident the industry was now “...