Solar energy feels the heat
- By Robyn Kimber -
- Jan 20, 2012
I read with interest Richard’s blog on the High Court’s ruling that the UK government has acted illegally in proposing a retrospective reduction in the solar feed-in tariff.
Unfortunately, this is another example of the government’s inconsistent approach to carbon reduction incentives. Not so long ago the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) performance league table was published. The CRC was originally intended to incentivise investment in carbon reduction projects, however this type of incentive was severely reduced by removing the reward scheme. Now, it’s effectively just a Carbon Tax, something extra for businesses to pay, regardless of what they are doing on energy efficiency.
In a similar way the feed-in-tariff was created to stimulate investment in solar PV, but now this has also seen the goal posts move. This inconsistency in government policy is not only creating instability in the renewable energy industry but also a lack of confidence for business when making investment decisions in the area of renewables.
At Virgin Active our current focus is to understand our energy usage across an ever expanding estate. We are working on how to best reduce energy consumption whilst ensuring everything has a clear sustainable business case. For us the aim is to reduce energy demand without affecting the customer experience. Our incentive is to offset the effects of rising energy and carbon prices whilst reducing our carbon emissions.
Although the removal of the feed-in-tariff hasn’t directly impacted Virgin Active, this unpredictability of policy does make it harder for me to prove the business case for further investment decisions which rely on green policy.
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