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04 May 2011 04:05:07

FIT review leak—truth, lies or gossip?



OK – there are many adjectives to describe what I'm going to be doing in this blog. Some might say gossiping, rumour-mongering, leaking or simply circulating (the latter being slightly kinder). Whatever it is, I just can't hold this in any longer.

My big decision hasn't been should I or shouldn't I – it's been do I publish this on Capital Green Talent's blog and all over LinkedIn or send to Wikileaks.

It started at Ecobuild last week—someone quietly mentioned details of a leak that had come out of Whitehall outlining what the government is going to announce following the latest FITs review. The rumour began...

Now at my desk and back to my day job (head-hunting "hard-to-find" talent for solar companies) and blow me down – over the last three days I have had two totally unrelated UK PV people tell me pretty much the same information about what the announcement from the UK government is going to say. The gossiping starts...

Here it is
• All rooftop solar will not be affected; this means the proposed limit of 50Kw is a red herring.
• Ground-mounted, large-scale solar farms will be re-classified and taken out of the current FITs scheme and put in the same category as large scale wind.

Petrol goes on the fire...

While it's completely possible this is only idle gossip and totally fabricated it seems to make a lot of sense. After all, it was the large scale solar farms that scared the government (with the help of the big 6 energy companies lobbying) into this urgent review. So while solar parks will probably still see the silver bullet, the government doesn't want to stop the hundreds of schools, universities, supermarkets, and so on from benefiting from FITs (nor do the big 6 energy companies).

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog called "UK FITs review—if you think UK solar is dead, think again" that pretty much predicted what this leak is saying. So for those who have been busy getting options on land parcels, pushing to get planning done for large solar farms, I'm sorry to say the news probably won’t be great (no big surprises there). For those in the commercial or industry roof space that have been feeling grey about their prospects, chin-up, your business is about to take OFF (again)!

As an active recruiter within the UK solar space I'm lucky to speak to a very wide cross section of people every day. Whether it's a German CEO wondering if the UK is a market they should go into or a business development manager telling me about the "big" deal they are closing, I'm extremely selective about the information I circulate or share. However, as the latest FITs review has put a serious dampener on large parts of the market, I hope you don't mind me passing on what I have "heard".


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