Consultations Open on FiTs, Renewables and Biofuels

The 2011 consultation season is under way with a vengeance!

First on the list should have been the Green Deal consultation – long awaited details on how the Government expects the Green Deal, as associated Energy Company Obligation subsidies, to work on the ground. But the document, like Alice in Wonderland’s jam, is still expected ‘in a few weeks’ as Network goes to press. Keep an eye on Network and the AECB news pages https://www.aecb.net/news/ for more information.

In the meantime what IS available is the consultation on the review of feed-in tariffs for solar PV http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/fits_comp_rev1/fits_comp_rev1.aspx  The consultation is open until December 23rd. It covers not only the proposed new levels of FiT for PV, but also proposals for tying the level of FiT support to standards of fabric efficiency in the building to which the PVs are attached. A discussion thread has also been started on the AECB forum (https://www.aecb.net/forum/index.php/topic,3424.0.html) where members can share their opinions.

This week is the very last chance to contribute to an ‘informal call for evidence’ on the UK Bioenergy Strategy – of interest not only to the renewables sector, but also those with views about the potential competition between construction timber and  ‘big biomass’. See http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/bioenergy/strategy/strategy.aspx.

Although the web page asks for contributions to be in by the end of October, a DECC representative has confirmed to AECB that submissions will be accepted until the end of the week (Nov 11). The invitation to contribute states that DECC are considering “the potential impacts (economic and carbon) of using biomass in the energy sector against other uses”, and explicitly raises questions of sustainability of supply and the wider impacts of land use change.

Those concerned about the “dash to biomass” or other wider issues of renewables deployment might also want to respond to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s stated intention to “maximise deployment of the cheapest renewable technologies, such as coal-to-biomass conversions and co-firing” via adjustments to the Renewables Obligation system http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cons_ro_review/cons_ro_review.aspx

The whole gamut of ‘big renewables’ is addressed in some detail in this consultation, which runs till January 12th, including on- and offshore wind, tidal and “energy from waste” There’s no obligation to comment on the whole thing, but anyone with evidence they want taken into account is invited by DECC to submit it.