The NFU has joined a broad coalition to oppose cuts to Feed-in Tariffs for small-scale renewables.
The group, including EnergyUK, the Solar Trade Association, the Renewable Energy Association and Friends of the Earth - as well as NFU Scotland - has issued a joint statement opposing the effective closure of the scheme for small-scale renewables.
The Government published a consultation at the end of August proposing drastic tariff cuts from January 2016, averaging about 80%, and setting a cap on future deployment that implies many tariffs will be reduced to zero.
The NFU is inviting farmers and growers to help shape our consultation response, to respond directly to the DECC, or to express their concerns to their local MPs. A parliamentary petition has already attracted more than 18,000 signatures.
In addition to the joint statement - published to coincide with this morning's Parliamentary Oral Questions to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd - the NFU has petitioned MPs asking energy questions. And we've requested a joint meeting with DECC and Defra ministers to discuss future support for small-scale on-farm anaerobic digestion.
The DECC has already confirmed it will remove pre-accreditation for all FIT applicants from 1st October 2015, despite the strong consultation response opposing the proposed changes. But despite the cascade of Government cuts to renewable energy support, the NFU believes solar power will continue to offer some farmers a sound investment, to manage input costs and to diversify our agricultural sector.
Small and medium sized PV rooftops for 100% on-site power generation should make good financial sense even without subsidy – and large ground-mounted solar farms may be profitable without government support where electricity is used locally or sold to clean power customers. The show is not yet over by any means.