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Greg Barker condemns ‘pretty poor’ DECC feed in tariff evidence

Greg Barker, the former energy secretary and now BPVA president, has criticised the evidence base used to compile the current feed-in tariff proposals

Greg Barker, the former energy secretary and now BPVA president, has criticised the evidence base used to compile the current feed-in tariff proposals and pleaded with energy secretary Amber Rudd to listen to the industry’s submissions, Solar Power Portal has reported.

Mr Barker was interviewed on BBC Radio Four this weekend and discussed the proposals – an 87% cut to the feed-in tariff which would come into force on 1 January – against the backdrop of two prominent installers entering administration as a result.

He warned that if the proposals were accepted in their current form, the impact on the industry would be “catastrophic”, however Barker reserved particular criticism for the evidence base upon which the proposals have been formulated.

“The secretary of state has made clear that the proposals on the table are just draft proposals and I think most people agree that the evidence base that went into this first draft of tariffs has been pretty poor,” he said.

DECC appointed an independent body to calculate appropriate feed-in tariffs to fulfil certain guidelines, revealed during last week’s feed-in tariff workshop to include an estimated return of no more than 4% and to prioritise well-sited locations with high load factors.

The work was conducted by strategic consultancy firm Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The proposals and the process has been repeatedly criticised since their unveiling on 27 August, most notably for a lack of consideration given to expected job losses.

DECC said within its impact assessment that an accurate figure could not be reached due to a lack of information.

Barker also pressed the severity of the proposals during the interview, stating his opinion that they would “kill the industry” in the UK and “set it back several years, quite unnecessarily”.

The deadline for submissions to the consultation is next Friday (23 October) and DECC has continued to urge the industry to submit as much evidence as possible.

The department expects to take several weeks sorting through the submissions and intends to issue a response by late November or early December.

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