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Stackyard News Dec 2011

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CLA Wales Calls for an End to Uncertainty for Renewable Energy

CLA Wales has called on the Government to end the uncertainty facing the renewable energy sector after a High Court decision ruled that changes to the Feed-in Tariff for solar power were “legally flawed”.

Photovoltaic panels

Photovoltaic panels

The Association said that the ruling, combined with a report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee recommending a better approach to solar subsidies, highlighted the lack of a long-term renewables policy.

CLA Wales Director Ben Underwood said: “There is no doubt that solar subsidies are too high to be sustainable and must be reduced. However, this must be done in a way that respects those caught out by the 12 December deadline who are tied into installation contracts on borrowed money which they are unable to repay with the new rates.

“Given the ruling by the High Court, we urge the Government to find more funds for the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) otherwise the scheme will certainly run out of cash and be closed to new applicants. We suggest the Cabinet moves unspent funds allocated to the Renewables Obligation to meet demands for the FIT.”

Mr Underwood added that the Government should not forget that hydro, wind and biogas also make an important contribution to the renewables sector and called for these technologies to be properly supported with long-term policies.

He said: “The CLA is committed to the delivery of a low carbon future in the countryside with small-scale distributed generation playing a key role. However, we need sustainable and long-term policies put in place to be able to deliver.

“We have asked for a pre-registration scheme to enable those with planning consent to book their place in the FIT at a guaranteed rate.”

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