1 Apr 2010

FiTs to be extended in shock move

On the day that the Feed-in-Tariff comes into effect in the UK, sources close to the government have revealed to me that the remit of the scheme is about to be extended to include additional renewable technologies thought to be “interesting and in need of a leg up to help establish themselves.”

Chief amongst these technologies are the flat-plate lunar collectors being developed by a group of scientists in Moldova. These work by harvesting moonlight and are of particular interest because they tend to work when the better-known solar panels are in sleep mode. “It’s a very exciting development,” I was told by a DECC insider. “The hope is that with the addition of these panels, householders will be able to produce renewable power 24/7.”

There are still known to be one or two teething troubles with the collectors and conventional meters have so far been unable to record the power output, but the BRE are thought to be working on an “adaptive meter” which will be able to cope with this. In the meantime, the plan is for the output to be “deemed” so as not to put off early adopters.

Another problem is the expense which looks to be many times more than conventional PV. This is where the FiT comes in, because the tariff can be set to reflect the additional capital costs. “The sky’s the limit on the tariff,” said my source. “This is the way to break in new technologies. As more and more people catch on and fit lunar panels, we anticipate that the prices will fall dramatically and that it won’t be long till we arrive at grid parity, and then the FiT will degress to zero.”


  1. For a moment I thought it was an April fool.

  2. It may be a bonanza for the small number of multi-national PV panel builders but it's also the death knoll of the small UK renewable design and manufacturing businesses. I have fought hard for the bespoke hydro industry including the use of traditional waterwheels, but to no avail. It's mass produced imports or nothing as far as this Government is concerned. This whole 'accreditation' scheme has been used as a stick to make the 'small guys' stand in line or get out. They have even demanded compliance with EU directives that contain exemptions for hydro power! This is 'Red Tape' gone mad. I thought after years in the business us pioneers would at least get a pat on the back, not a knife!