Monday, 1 February 2010

UK Feed In Tariffs Anounced by DECC

UK finally gets FIT

DECC finally anounced the feed-in tariff bandings today with remarkably positive results. Here is their press release.

In short, it works like this: "Households and communities who install generating technologies such as small wind turbines and solar panels will from April be entitled to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce."

This works even is you consume that power yourself. If you consider that the wholesale value of a kWh is about 6p, or 10-12p for domestic rates, the payments work out at a surprisingly high multiple. The UK small wind sector must be overjoyed. The rates do taper down with installation size to roughly match the ROC price by >500kW
Here are the rates for wind only:

Tariff levels for electricity financial incentives

Year 1: 1.04.10- 31.03.11 Year 2: 1.04.11- 31.02.12 Year 3: 1.04.12- 31.03.12  Life (years)
Wind  ≤1.5kW  34.5  34.5  32.6  20
Wind  1.5 - 15kW  26.7  26.7  25.5  20
Wind  15 - 100kW  24.1  24.1  23.0  20
Wind 100 - 500kW  18.8  18.8  18.8  20
Wind 500kW - 1.5MW  9.4  9.4  9.4  20
Wind 1.5MW - 5MW  4.5  4.5  4.5  20
Existing microgenerators transferred from the RO  9.0  9.0  9.0  to 2027

The 20 year guarantee with index linked payments is great for long term security and the BWEA did a great job of lobbying to stretch the bands favourably i.e there is no 50 to 250kW band as earlier proposed.

But here is the but...., note the phrase 'Householders and communities', this presumably is excluding businesess, meaning that High Altitude Wind Energy is still effectively penalised compared to other emerging renewables technologies ( see my earlier rant.. er I mean post about the RO banding). Still, this makes a 99kW or a 499kW system look damn attractive to a landowner or island community.

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I finished my PhD on Evolutionary Robotics in Airborne Wind Energy applications in 2010. Since then I have been working in industry in the area.