The Solar Trades Association has called on energy minister Claire Perry to urgently confirm the continuation of the ‘export tariff’ for PV owners from next April. In an open letter, signed by 200 organisations, the group said the ‘export tariff’ “is not a subsidy but a mechanism that works alongside the Feed-In Tariff to ensure small solar generators are paid at a fair market rate, for the power they feed into the grid”.
STA chief executive Chris Hewett said; “The latest government proposals for solar power are creating shock waves well beyond the solar industry. Nobody can fathom how government can contemplate leaving households and small organisations as the only generators left unpaid for the valuable power they put into the electricity network. We are asking the energy minister to act quickly and promise to maintain the export tariff & to uphold the basic rights of a market.”
According to a recent survey by Client Earth, one of the signatories to the letter, 62% of UK homes want to install solar & 60% want to install battery storage. STA says plans to remove the export tariff “flies in the face of new EU legislation that will enshrine the rights of ‘prosumers’ “.
It says other generators spilling onto the network have been paid at a higher rate than the export tariff in 2018. “If small generators are forced to spill their energy onto the grid for free they will effectively be subsidising the big players in the power industry – a scenario that even major suppliers, like E,On and Ovo Energy have rejected as signatories to the letter.”
The letter instead asks government to not only maintain the fair export tariff, but remove a series of regulatory barriers which are currently preventing a market for local flexibility services and exported power to flourish.