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Why I'm taking the solar fight to government

Consulting engineering firm Encraft’s managing director Matthew Rhodes

Encraft is not a solar PV company. So why would we join in legal action against the Department of Energy and Climate Change for its proposal to bring forward the date for reduced rate of Feed in Tariff for solar PV?

I don’t dispute the tariff reduction itself. But the date of this change really matters. It should be 31 March 2012 as previously announced, not 12 December 2011. 

DECC’s consultation doesn’t even close until 23 December, so the usual opportunity to argue our point has been hijacked. Legal action is necessary to re-establish some common sense and to hold government to account.

Encraft is a well-established microgeneration and energy efficiency consultancy that has created 30 jobs in the past eight years and sells services globally. Our clients are pursuing major long-term projects to create lower carbon communities. Solar PV is only part of the many technical options we investigate when we advise clients on appropriate investment strategies.

Bringing the FIT date forward creates a cowboy’s charter for irresponsible operators and speculators, while penalising companies seeking to develop a quality market and community projects in particular. These projects take a long time to develop and cannot be brought to fruition responsibly within six weeks.

It has a huge destructive effect on our clients’ projects.  More perniciously, it contradicts Chris Huhne’s promises earlier in the year to manage the market responsibly, destroying investor confidence in all microgeneration and energy efficiency technologies, not just solar PV.  

That’s why we have joined Solar Century’s legal action and urge others to do the same.

Matthew Rhodes is MD of Encraft, an independent consulting engineering firm specialising in microgeneration, on-site renewables and low carbon buildings for the public sector.

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