DECC solar announcement

Well finally the jury came back in! A 65% cut in #FiT’s rather than 87%, so what does this mean for North Star? Well all told it’s good news. By good it means of course our PV, battery storage and LED solution which doesn’t need any subsidy support anyway, still remains on-track, why wouldn’t it? Just greater electricity savings for consumers. But, with a 4.39p FiT we can still offer our old model too for social landlords providing free PV and residents enjoy free daytime electricity. So it’s the best of both worlds.

So the bad news. In the past we’d campaigned those financing PV were wrong, i.e. debt finance directly from pension funds is infinitely preferable to equity financing as its cheaper. Sorry banks. We extolled the virtues of having 100% of roofs installed in any given portfolio which works for us as far north as Aberdeen (maybe further north but we haven’t looked at any portfolios higher). We felt cherry-picking only the south facing, perfectly pitched roofs was just wrong and against community interests – it is unfair only 25% of residents have the benefit of free daytime electricity, it creates haves and have-not’s. But with FiT’s at 4.39p we have to limit ourselves now to installing around 75% of roofs with free PV in a portfolio. This is the extent of bad news as far as our model is concerned, everything else such a free solution to digital inclusion, profit sharing etc remains the same.

Nonetheless, the bad news in fact goes deeper. The amount of money allocated to FiT’s is limited and still remains subject to degression. This means time isn’t a luxury which can be enjoyed anymore. To take advantage of the FiT means having to move quickly. Simple as that really, no prisoners, no time to sit on the fence; first come, first served.

As we see it the good news goes deeper too. Despite the governments nominal-at-best support for renewables – the announcement of new fracking licenses yesterday and their [questionable] support of Hinkley, WE can still support renewables OURSELVES. With or without any subsidy. Do-it-ourselves, follow the path of breadcrumbs.

Peter Sermol

Managing Director

North Star Solar Ltd

© 2016 North Star Solar