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Renewable Energy Schemes Offer Little Financial Guarantee

With renewable energy becoming more abundant these days, significant financial returns are no longer guaranteed. Find out more, here...

Landowners who are considering installing renewable energy systems must be aware that attractive financial returns are no longer guaranteed. This is why it’s vital to budget correctly.

According to independent power and energy specialist, Roadnight Taylor, the new Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) – which supersedes the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) – does not set any base price for renewable electricity, and only ensures a payment of more than 0p/kWh for power exported to the grid. As a result, landowners need to take a much more considered approach to their investment.

Meet Roadnight Taylor at the Farm Business Innovation Show, with your FREE ticket, to hear more about these potential pitfalls in person. For now, read more, here...

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Senior Consultant, Richard Palmer, Has His Say...

“In the days of the FiT, farms and estates could put solar panels on the roof and get paid a subsidy for all generations, as well as a guaranteed floor price for any electricity exported to the grid. Many had hoped that the new SEG would set a minimum price for export - like the FiT - but it has not done so. Instead, it only guarantees that operators will have access to a market and are paid more than 0p/kWh at all times of export.

“As such, the SEG is neither smart or guaranteed, it is not a replacement to the FiT, and is arguably now only a secondary consideration. With no guaranteed payments, it is important that landowners now focus on sizing schemes to their site’s energy demand, minimise any surplus exported to the grid, and pay close attention to tariff structures.

“Anyone interested in installing renewable technology should first analyse historic data from a half hourly meter, or install half hourly metering/monitoring to profile demand. They should then consider all existing generation assets before looking at the most suitable technology, whether that’s solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, battery storage or combined heat and power.

“Many operators with existing installations opted out of the FiT base price and, instead, achieved higher export prices through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). This will still be a good option for those schemes of a suitable scale. That said, for small-scale operators on the SEG alone, the lack of a guaranteed price or contract length is a risk due to exposure to falling electricity wholesale markets, and the potential lack of competition, leading to an under-valued export price.

“There are still opportunities to significantly reduce electricity bills through small-scale renewable projects, but there needs to be a change in mindset across the industry. Too many developers are recommending unsuitably large installations, which will never deliver decent returns, and may potentially create significant losses. There is no one-size fits all any more – it’s vital to undertake a professional strategic review of a business’s energy demands, and tailor the solution to fit.”

Senior Consultant at Roadnight Taylor, Richard Palmer, has his say in this article

Discover More About Financial Returns From the Experts

Any new renewable installation or addition to existing schemes after 31 March 2019 will not be eligible for the FiT, but should ideally be built to comply with the SEG so that operators can access the available markets. The SEG applies to the main renewable technologies, up to 5MW, subject to eligibility criteria including a requirement to meter half hourly. The scheme comes into effect from 1 January 2020 with the full range of SEG tariffs being available from this date.

If you want to find out more, in person, about the solutions to this issue, then get your FREE ticket to the Farm Business Innovation Show, on 6th & 7th November at the NEC, Birmingham. Don’t hesitate to make the changes needed to boost profits from your land!

For more information call 01993 830571 or visit www.roadnighttaylor.co.uk.

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