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Mon March 01 2021

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Solar subsidy rules revised to promote take-up

26 Nov 14 The government is planning to allow solar panel installations to be moved from building to building without loss of subsidy.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has published a consultation document on proposals to allow building-mounted solar installations with capacity greater than 50kW to transfer location and remain eligible for feed-in tariff (FIT) payments.

The rationale for the proposal, conditions for transferability and administration process are set out in the consultation document.

DECC feels that that growth in the commercial and industrial scale rooftop market has failed to meet its potential and it wants to encourage more solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

One of the problems is that tenants of industrial and commercial buildings are not incentivised to construct a building-mounted solar PV installation as they do not own the building and cannot guarantee that they will remain in their current premises for the 20-year term that they are entitled to FIT payments.

Similarly, building owners do not always know that they have a 20-year commitment to any given building.

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DECC says that allowing FIT installations to move sites and remain entitled to FIT income would increase the flexibility of the scheme and decrease investment risk.

There are no plans to introduce transferability for installations under 50kW. The costs of transferring these smaller installations would be proportionally larger and not viable, DECC says. The Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (RICS) is currently working to include solar PV in the valuation of domestic properties. DECC believes this will prove a more effective way of promoting take-up.

Launching the consultation, energy minister Amber Rudd said: "Around 900 businesses already use solar PV – but I want to see more generating their own electricity. There’s potential for significant growth in this area so it’s vital that we remove the barriers which prevent businesses from benefiting."

The full consultation document can be found at

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