Coronavirus changes to the FIT scheme
The government has amended the Feed-in Tariffs Order 2012. The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 and the Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Order 2020 collectively grant a 12 month extension to validity periods for all pre-registrations for community energy solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and all preliminary accreditations which originally expired on or after 1 March 2020.
Timeline of changes to the scheme
Here you can find an overview of the changes to the FIT scheme since it was introduced on 1 April 2010, and any upcoming changes.
These changes have been introduced through amendments to the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) Order and/or standard licence conditions.
In response to the unprecedented circumstances faced by prospective FIT generators at this time, the government has amended the Feed-in Tariffs Order 2012. The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 and the Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No.2) Order 2020 collectively grant a 12 month extension to validity periods for all pre-registrations for community energy solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and all preliminary accreditations which originally expired on or after 1 March 2020.
On 18 December 2018 the following changes were introduced to the FIT scheme:
- Closure of the scheme to new applications from 1 April 2019, barring exceptions for a grid or radar delay grace periods and MCS installations which commissioned before this date.
- Introduction of metered export to the levelisation calculation.
On 1 April 2017 the following changes were introduced to the FIT scheme:
- Introduction of six monthly 5MW deployment caps and contingent degression for micro CHP (combined heat and power) installations
- Amended future generation tariff rates for Anaerobic Digestion (AD) installations and introduction of default degression mechanism for AD.
All AD installations that made an application after 1 May 2017 are required to comply with sustainability criteria and will have their FIT generation payments limited according to feedstock type (referred to as feedstock restrictions).
The FIT scheme was paused from 15 January to 7 February 2016 (inclusive). This suspended new applications received during the pause from MCS registration or ROO-FIT accreditation.
Extensions to existing accredited FIT installations are no longer eligible for the FIT scheme where they are commissioned on or after 15 January 2016.
A number of changes were introduced to the scheme on 8 February 2016. This included:
- Deployment caps for all technologies and capacities (with the exception of micro-CHP)
- Changes to the default and contingent degression mechanisms which reduce generation tariff rates
- Re-introduction of preliminary accreditation for ROO-FIT installations
- Amendments to the energy efficiency requirement (EER) for solar PV installations.
From 9 May the EER was further amended to require solar PV installations (<250kW) to have an Energy Performance Certificate issued before the commissioning date in order to receive the higher tariff rate.
On 1 April 2015 an amended definition of ‘community organisation’ and additional benefits available to community energy installations were introduced.
On 1 October 2015 the following changes were made to the FIT scheme:
- Removal of the tariff guarantee for community energy installations applying for pre-registration
- Removal of preliminary accreditation for ROO-FIT installations.
From 14 July 2014 provisions were made to withdraw ROO-FIT preliminary accreditation of certain hydro generating stations.
On 1 July 2013 the following provisions were introduced to the FIT scheme:
- The process of mutualisation was introduced in the event of a licensed electricity supplier being unable to make the whole or part of a levelisation payment into Ofgem's Levelisation Fund
- Introduction of instructions to deal with the treatment of FIT generators and FIT payments in the event of their FIT licensee having their electricity supply licence revoked or suffering an insolvency event.
On 1 December 2012, a number of changes were implemented to the scheme which includes:
- Introduction of ROO-FIT preliminary accreditation
- Introduction of a degression mechanism to reduce generation tariffs
- Introduction of pre-registration for community energy and school installations, which provided the benefits of a tariff guarantee and relaxation to the energy efficiency requirement.
From 1 April 2012 onwards solar PV installations with a capacity of 250kW and below have to meet an energy efficiency requirement. This, along with the introduction of the multi-installation rule, introduced the high, middle and lower tariff rates for PV installations.
Further clarification on the eligibility of FIT installations which had received public grants was provided in legislation which came into effect on 30 May 2011.
The FIT scheme was introduced with legislation coming into effect on 1 April 2010.
Feed-in Tariffs: Essential guide to closure of the scheme
This guidance explains our administration of the closure of the FIT scheme to new applications from 1 April 2019, including the process for applying for a ROOFIT grace period. The guidance is based on the Feed-In Tariffs (Closure, etc) Order 2018.