British Hydropower Association Offers Mixed Reaction to New Tariffs

The British Hydropower Association welcomes the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s finalized version of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme for renewable electricity generation but says some issues must be addressed.

The new tariff plan shows strengthened tariffs for hydro in line with extensive work carried out by the BHA for the consultation process.

“This helps to reassure those who finance new hydro projects, thus encouraging realization of hydro’s vast potential in the United Kingdom,” BHA Chief Executive David Williams said.

However, there are certain issues within the detail of the structure that will effect the fulfilment of the total potential development, the BHA reported.

These are mainly to do with schemes which while waiting for the announcement of FiTs have pre-registered for the old system within the Renewables Obligation (RO). If this was done before April 2008, scheme owners can no longer apply for FiTs and cannot afford to complete the scheme under the RO.

“This effectively quarantines a number of projects trapped in this time limitation,” Williams said. “ We must fight to get the structure modified.”

Another area of contention is the inability to use refurbished equipment for the FiTs regime. One of the big advantages of hydropower is that, with refurbishment, hydro plants can last easily for 100 years. Under the RO, refurbishment was allowed. Now it is not – again limiting the most reliable source of renewable electricity generation, the BHA reported.

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