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British Government Keeps Cutting Green Subsidies

Britain proposed on Friday cutting financial support for new solar plants from Aug. 1, following an approval process, saying it wants to focus instead on supporting household and community-level projects.

A public consultation will run from Friday until May 6 on the proposal, and it will then go to parliament for final approval.

“This will really curtail the solar industry in Britain,” said Roman Webber, head of Renewable Energy at consultancy Deloitte.

Project developers have started re-evaluating their projects since the government first announced its intention to review the tariffs in February, and the move may now lead them to focus away from solar energy, he added.

The government has proposed to cut support for new solar plants with more than 50 kilowatts capacity and stand-alone installations.

“These proposals aim to rebalance the scheme and put a stop to the threat of larger-scale solar soaking up the cash. The FITs (feed-in-tariffs) scheme was never designed to be a profit generator for big business and financiers,” UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said in a statement.

The new rates are 19 pence per kilowatt hour for plants between 50 KW and 150 KW in capacity, 15 pence for 150 KW to 250 KW plants and 8.5 pence for 250 KW to 5 KW plants, it said.

Previous rates were 32.9 pence for 10 KW to 100 KW and 30.7 pence for 100 KW to 5 MW.

The changes are in line with amendments made in similar schemes in Europe such as Germany, France and Spain.

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