Consultation on Feed-in Tariffs for solar PV

The government have announced a review of feed in tariffs for solar PV. According to their website the review will consider all aspects of the scheme including:

  • tariff levels
  • degression rates and methods
  • eligible technologies
  • arrangements for exports
  • administrative and regulatory arrangements
  • interaction with other policies
  • accreditation and certification issues 

We have decided to separate the review into two phases. Phase 1 will consider:

  • small-scale solar PV (with a total installed capacity of 250 kilowatts or less)
  • prioritising energy efficiency by linking PV tariffs to specified minimum energy efficiency requirements from 1 April 2012, and
  • introducing new multi-installation tariff rates for aggregated solar PV schemes, applying to new installations with an eligibility date after 1 April 2012 

Phase 2 of the review will consider wider issues including tariffs for non-PV technologies, new cost control mechanisms and administrative aspects of the scheme.

Possible grounds:

  • Global warming is not occurring therefore no need
  • Global warming models have proven inaccurate
  • Global warming would be beneficial to the UK with less winter deaths
  • Solar PV is a pathetic technology for the UK and it simply doesn’t justify itself in terms of the cost/benefit. When I last looked without subsidy, the payback period was something like 50 years (for perfect installation with no maintenance costs)
  • Jobs are lost as money as taken out of the economy.
  • Home owners have been deceived about the true costs & benefits. E.g. few get told they need regular cleaning which is not an insubstantial cost (window cleaners charge £5-£10 per month). Roof installation is never at the optimum angle and often shaded. And typical costs don’t include the cost of replacing the inverter which I’ve heard last only 10 years
  • There are numerous stories of botched installations where e.g. the roof leaks after installation meaning that eventually far more damage will be done to the house than could possibly be saved.

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24 Responses to Consultation on Feed-in Tariffs for solar PV

  1. neilcraig says:

    They are cutting the subsidy from 46.4p to 24.1p (the BBC give slightly smaller figures but they are ignoring 3.1p for actually supplying it to the grid instead of using it yourself.

    By comparison nuclear costs 2.2p a unit. So the subsidy is being reduced to 12 times as much as the real cost which would be outrageous if at least 75% of the cost of nuclear power were not government regulations, including those preventing mass production of reactors. So in fact we are paying up to 48 times more than is necessary to provide the most important sunstance needed to keep our civilistation going.

    Obviously nobody who actually wants Britain not to be in 1984 style pverty could support that. The BBC headline is that this “cut” in the subsidy thjreatens jobs. Nobody at the BBC who wasn’t wholly corrupt could ever pretend that it is not the subsidies that threaten jobs.

  2. Neil – got any figures or facts to back that outrageous ‘75%’ claim up? There are plenty of strong economic arguments for nuclear power without resorting to fantasy – for example,

    However, there is endless debate about the real external costs of nuclear resulting from future financial liabilities arising from decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear facilities, health and environmental impacts of radioactivity, releases in routine operation, radioactive waste disposal and effects of severe accidents. Dismantling the current regulatory structure wojld only increase these, thereby defeating your argument.

    And what, pray tell, is ‘1984-style poverty’? Are you referring to the Thatcher regime or Orwell’s? The UK economy was powering out of recession in 1984 and Thatcher was about to go to war against the miners.

    • Scots Renewables. Rather than arguing about figures, I would have thought your biggest concern is that this is only the first of the subsidies that they are doing away with.

      SolarPV is first, then small wind (particularly now proven are defunct), then I think the current plan as I understand it … but that would be telling.

    • neilcraig says:

      Far from being “outrageous” it is conservative. will give you copious evidence of costs far more than doubling due to regulation.
      The further assumption that mass production is likely to at least halve costs again is obviously reasonable – you may check the prices of almost anything.

      Or do you have any figures or facts to back the claim that I was being “outrageous” which you didn’t get round to providing?
      Thought not.

      • klem says:

        And here are a few good reasons to push for more nukes; Each plant costs a mere $10 billion to build, it costs over $300 million just to turn a nuclear plant off, nuclear plants are terrorist targets, the fuel is destructive to make, the fuel is dangerous to handle and transport, the fuel is a terrorist target, the spent fuel must be buried in old abandoned mines for thousands of years due to it’s toxicity, the spent fuel is also a terrorist target. In addition, there has never been a nuclear plant anywhere in the world which has made money without huge permanent subsidies, primarily because the industry is so heavily regulated they are unprofitable. Before they get a chance to pay for themselves they need to be retrofitted and refurbished, driving the costs up again after only a few decades of use. Of course we have Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to thank, the two main reasons why they are so heavily regulated, and now Fukushima will add more regulation. Just hearing the statement “nuclear is a lot safer today’, that’s the ultimate reason, it really gives me such confidence in nukes.

        Coal on the other hand is none of these things. It is old technology, plants are cheap to build, cheap to maintain, they are efficient and still getting more so, they are not welfare cases and they are not terrorist targets. The only problem is they emit smoke. Why can’t we solve this simple, old technology issue? I guess nuclear is sexy and coal is not. My suggestion is that instead of spending $10 Billion on a soooo sexy nuclear plant which is fraught with costs and complexity, we spend $1 Billion on R&D to make coal a smoke free energy source, and spend the remaining $9 billion to buy malaria mosquito nets for just about every vulnerable person on earth. And the whole coal/nuclear issue would go away. Perhaps even malaria too.

        • neilcraig says:

          As previously said the AP1000 is on the market for around £1 bn. Anything beyond that is purely the fault of anti-nuclearists. Reactor waste is down to safe levels in about 50 years, not thousands. No terrorist has ever been stupid enough to try to break into a reactor and run off with the contents. It is simply untrue to say no plant has made a profit, as are most of the other statements here for which no substantiation is given. I am unsurprised that your suggestion is that you and your friends be given yet another £10 billion on promises that that, this time, will make the world wonderful.

          Perhaps you should invest some of it in paragraphs.

  3. Neil,

    The assumption that mass production is likely to at least halve costs can equally be applied to offshore wind surely?

    • neilcraig says:

      So you didn’t have any evidence for the claim. In honesty you should retract it.

      Wind turbines ARE already mass priduced and would indeed be much more expensive than the they are if each one was a one off. You appear to be claiming not to have noticed that ecofascists such as Huhne regularly claim that they expect further massive price falls as windmill production goes from hundreds to thousands. I suspect that the gains in mass production between 100s and thousands will be less than the cost reductions between single numbers and hundreds and that bottlenecks, such as having only a handful of barges to put up thousands of windmills will cause probelms too.

      • klem says:

        “such as having only a handful of barges to put up thousands of windmills will cause probelms too.”

        True, but it costs more money this way. That’s the real reason they want them offshore. Remember, its not about saving the planet, its about spending lots of money on things which make the left leaning voters happy. Then they can claim they’ve spent $n on green technology, its not about spending a small amount on green thech, its about spending as much as possible on green tech. Its government, its not their money they are spending anyway.

  4. So Neil . . .

    No figures to back up your claim, and none to refute my counterclaim. And – you have failed also to explain your scheme for the ‘mass production’ of nuclear power stations.

    Try to explain why I should continue to try to have a reasonable debate with you please, because frankly I can’t see it.

    • neilcraig says:

      What figures are you looking for? I apparently have your word that you currently doubt that wind turbines are produced in hundreds rather than singles. Since you refuse to retract your claim that it is “outrageous” to believe mass production ir less regulation significantly reduces cost I have to accept that as representing the pinnacle of honesty to which you aspire & assuming nobody elese on tthe alarmist side wishes to call you on it, to which the entire movement aspires. I do not have to believe you are sufficiently stupid to believe you are being truthful.

      You did not make a “counterclaim” – you extended my point about mass priduction to apply it to windmills. You are now in the unique position of proving yourself and your movement wholly corrupt by claiming both that I am lying about mass production working at all and that it does work and to a far greater degree than I suggested. For neither case, of course, do you even attempt to produce any facts.

      The fact is that you, like the entire ecofascist movement (assuming none of them come on here to call you a liar) are wholly corrupt creatures totallly devoid of any trace of honesty or integrity and willing to tell any lie whatsover to support your thieving parasitism.
      If I am in an any way wrong you will be able to say, with facts, where or failing tyhat, make an absolute apology.

      When you have done that you might he in a position to start to engage in a “reasonable debate”. Glad to assist.

  5. ha ha

    Kindly explain your plans for ‘mass production’ of nuclear power stations. I am sure the Dept of Energy would be delighted to hear them. The whole concept is ludicrous and shows you know nothign about the nuclear industry.

    Your use of pejorative terms like ‘ecofascist’ and the suggestion that I am ‘corrupt’ and ‘totally devoid of any integrity or honesty’ and engaged in ‘thieving parasitism’ on a public forum is extrememly unwise my friend. I suggest it is you who is due me an apology.

    • neilcraig says:

      So you can’t say what figures you are looking for. you can’t produce any factual information of your own. Your further request for unspecifc information about mass production, which you could easily Google yourself is a fraudulent form of argument known as moving the goalpost.

      Threatening people on a public forum is not as clokely to convince as you think.

      Since you continue to repeatedly refuse to retract your claim that it is “outrageous” to believe mass production significantly reduces costs we must accept that tit does indeed represent the pinnacle of hiinersty to which you aspire and must be judged thereby – or do you dispute that.

      Everything you describe as “pejorative” about you follows automatically from that continued assertion of yours so could you please explain in what way using such terms to describe you is “pejorative”?

    • Another propaganda film dutifully recast by the Biased Broadcasting Company as a hard hitting documentary “uncovering” the facts an honest government would put in a political broadcast. I particularly like the huhne “questioning” … made to look like he was caught out … but clearly scripted.

      In other words, the government have suddenly realised that their mismanagement of energy is going to cost us all a hell of a lot, and they want the BBC to start warning the public so the shock will be a lot less in the vain hope we’ll just grumble and won’t all march on Downing street demanding those responsible are strung up.

      • neilcraig says:

        I thought it was more the BBC distancing themselves, slightly, from the lies they have been pushing for decades. Niw they will be able to say “not us gov- look at this we warned you WEEKS ago”. They downplayed as much as possible giving no actual figures of the cost of nuclear vis a vis wind (let alone the potential cost of nuclear discused here. They also said that because the cost of ofshore windmillery is £25 bn a year, more than the cost of NASA we could have a Mars mission for the same price – in fact £25bn is twice the cost of NASA and NASA is such a bureaucratic mess we could have a world leading space industrialisation programme for 1/20th of that but saying that would make our governors look as parasitix as they are.

  6. Neil,

    You appear to have stopped using English. Your last post contains several words that I do not recognise. Is your keyboard malfunctioning?

    However – let me put it as simply as I can . . . nuclear power stations are incredibly expensive projects. Each one is essentially a ‘one-off’. The UK is currently looking at two different designs. EDF’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) for Hincklley Point would be the third one built in the world. The first two at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France are currently massively over budget and behind schedule.

    The other design being considered for the UK is the Westinghouse AP1000. Currently there are none operational and only two under construction in China.

    I would be very interested to hear (as I am sure would EDF and Westinghouse) how you propose to apply techniques of mass production to the process of building a very small number of hugely complex plants. The very fact that you suggest it shows a complete lack of knowledge of the nuclear industry – or possibly you simply have a totally different understanding of the term ‘mass production’ to the rest of us.

    The idea that the UK’s coming energy crisis is suddenly going to be solved by the miraculous overnight appearance of a bunch of realistically priced and unsubsidised nuclear power stations is, I am afraid, no more than a schoolboy fantasy. There is little or no chance of even two new stations being operational by 2020, and the prospect of the electricity being any cheaper than wind generated supply is slim indeed.

    What makes more sense is extending the operating life of existing nuclear plants to allow renewables technology a bit of breathing space to mature.

    • neilcraig says:

      Once again athe normal lack of facts. You continue to claim that it is “outrageous” to believe mass production works & I must continue to accept this as representing the pinnacle of honesty to which the anti-nuclear movement aspire4s. It continues to be an obvious lie.

      The Westinghouse AP100 is offered for sale worldwide at arouind $1.8 bn (£1.2 bn ) for a single unit but that it will drop to around $1.2 for multiple units so, if you are telling the truth, they must be offering at a massive loss.

      Your claim that it is impossible to build a large number of plants before 2020 founders on the reality that China is currently building the equivalent of the entire UK capacity in new nuclear plants alone and expects to have them finished by 2015.

      PS I equally accept your claim to be unable to read what I write as being precisely as truthful as the standard of honesty you aspire to in everything else and a total and deliberate lie.

    • TinyCO2 says:

      In the UK each nuclear station was a one off but not in France.
      It had huge advantages above and beyond the basic cost reduction of bulk buy. Spares are universal. Staff can move from one station to another without difficulty. A problem arising in one is common, but once a solution was found it can be rolled out to the others.

      They’re never going to be cheap but they’re far more practical than wind. Some of the biggest costs of wind will be trying to control it and feed it into the areas that need energy. Since the big wind towers are essentially new technology, we may find that there are problems that were never envisaged. eg I have an aquaintance who works on sea based wind turbines and he has expressed concern about visiting them in windy weather. Other worries have arisen about the stability of the concrete bases. I’m also just waiting for the disaster movie about a cruise ship adrift in a wind farm field.

  7. Neil,

    In the spring of 2007 China National Nuclear Corp. selected the Westinghouse/Shaw consortium to build four nuclear reactors for an estimated US$8 billion. As of April 2010, these are the only units in the world to have started construction.

    Your talk of mass production is a fantasy. Let me refer you to Wikipedia for a definition of the term:

    Mass production (also flow production, repetitive flow production, series production, or serial production) is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines. The concepts of mass production are applied to various kinds of products, from fluids and particulates handled in bulk (such as food, fuel, chemicals, and mined minerals) to discrete solid parts (such as fasteners) to assemblies of such parts (such as household appliances and automobiles).

    NOT enormous, complex and rare items like nuclear power stations that are constructed on site with particular reference ot local conditions.

    Please try to refrain from personal insults and ludicrous stereotyping – it adds nothing to the debate.

    • neilcraig says:

      So, for example, if only 1 eurofighter were to be produced it would only cost E90 million rather than the £37 billion the entire programme has cost because mass production of it produces zero savings. Now that is an “outrageous” not to say incredibly stupid claim. In fact extrapolating from that, the assumption that mass production would only halve the cost is clearly conservative.

      If you are going to claim an objection to insults you should first apologise for maintaining your claim that it is “outrageous” of me to say mass production lowers costs. KIn fact kif you read what I said you will find I have gone out of my way not to be personally rude to you and merely said that various things you have said and maintained myst represent the highest standard of honesty to which you and the anti-technology movement generaly, aspire. By definition that must be true since otherwise you would retract them. It is not my fault they are obvious lies. If you are saying that reporting facts proves you an obvious liar that is your problem. If you feel the things you are maintaining are not lies provide the evidence.

  8. Hmmmm . . . further intelligibility drop.

    The Westinghouse AP100 may be a little cheaper if ten are being built at once, but that is not mass production. Even if we decided to replace all 80GW of our current outpurt capacity at once with 40 of the same type of reactor it would still not offer the savings suggested by the term ‘mass production’

    In fact, a run of 40 of anything is more likely to be described as a ‘limited edition’ :-)

    • neilcraig says:

      So you acknowledge that it would be “a little” cheaper even though you don’t like the term mass production. And you have already said that mass production of wind mills will be cheaper though for reasons we can only speculate on you didn’t say it would only be “a little”.

      Of course nio attempt to produce any evidence that it would be only “a little” or any dispute that it was “a hell of a lot” for eurofighter or similar programmes but then the concept of producing evidence seems novel to you.

      And, of courase, though you now acknowledge such savings are obviously true you still co0ntinue to maintain the wholly dishonest claim to “outrage” at the thought that the mas production savings you acknowledge as possible are in any way possible. I accept this as representing the pinnacle of honesty to which any technophobes aspire.

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