Government support for renewable energy has shifted in recent years. Previously all support was through the provision of grants (one-off payments) to assist with capital costs. This was changed towards a revenue support model via the Feed-in tariff (FIT) for electricity generating technologies. These incentives boost the financial value of the actual energy produced over the long-term. This is to ensure the technologies are well designed and produce consistent energy. This also makes renewables more attractive to the private sector. However, in 2015 the UK Government made significant changes to the FiT. See the 'Further information' section below for links to the latest information.
This page gives a brief overview of both these incentives, links to relevant external sites and detailed modules explaining both within the context of community energy.
The FIT is the UK government's UK-wide initiative intended to encourage the uptake of solar PV, wind, micro-hydro and micro-CHP, up to a total installed capacity of 5 megawatts (MW).
The FIT scheme provides a guaranteed minimum payment for all electricity generated and exported by a system. These payments combined with bill reductions from off-set electricity make up the three revenue streams for a project. The tariffs are designed so that the average monthly income from an installation will be significantly greater than the monthly loan repayments over 20 years.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (previously the Depertment of Energy and Climate Change) makes key decisions on FITs in terms of Government policy. The administration of the scheme is performed separately by energy regulator Ofgem.
Information from DECC has been available on the FIT and how it can be utilised by organisations, businesses, communities and individuals.