3.5% FIT degression announced for small-scale UK solar 2014-11-07
     Small-scale solar PV installations eligible for the U.K. feed-in tariff (FIT) will be subjected to a rate 3.5% lower from January 1, 2015.

      The U.K.'s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) confirmed that the lower tariff for all installations in the <50 kW band will be triggered in the new year after insufficient solar deployment in this range in 2014 failed to spark an automatic degression.

Instead, Ofgem has pre-empted the degression despite some industry experts predicting that sterong growth in the third and fourth quarters would have been sufficient to trigger the 3.5% degression unaided.

     The new lower rate stands at £0.1171/kWh for the >10-50 kW band (down from £0.1213/kWh), £0.1257/kWh for the >4-10 kW band and £0.1388/kWh for the 0-4 kW band.

      Changes to the U.K.'s subsidy scheme for large-scale solar announced earlier this year were intended to shift support towards the smaller-scale domestic sector, but despite encouraging signs of growth in recent weeks, ground-mount PV capacity is poised to overtake installed rooftop capacity before the end of 2014.

       Deployment between the two sectors will likely end the year close to 50:50, with approximately 2 GW in each. However, the first quarter of 2015 is likely to see ground mount activity pull ahead, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

       The untapped potential of the commercial-scale sector – thus far untouched by FIT degressions and still eligible for the attractive Renewable Obligations Certificate (ROC) could adopt a leading role in the U.K. solar landscape in 2015, but experts are unsure just how strong this market can become.

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