Brighton Energy Co-op postpones share offer after feed-in tariff cut

Posted On 01 Nov 2011 at 9:05 pm

Brighton Energy Co-operative said that it had been forced to postpone the launch of its share offer after the government announced cuts to the feed-in-tariff.

It said that the project had become untenable in the short term.

The share launch was due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday 2 November) at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton from 7pm to 9.30pm.

Brighton Energy Co-op was looking to raise £500,000 from the local community to fund the installation and operation of four solar photovoltaic arrays in Shoreham, Portslade and Kemp Town.

Once the solar panels were generating electricity, Brighton Energy Co-op would have received the government-backed feed-in-tariff, a 25-year subsidy paid for generating renewable energy.

But the government has announced a consultation on the tariff which involves cutting the incentive by more than half.

After looking at several alternative funding options, the directors concluded that it would be more prudent to wait until the results of the government’s feed-in-tariff review for community schemes. The review is due to finish on Friday 23 December.

The government is consulting on whether community schemes should be given a higher rate of feed-in-tariff after intense lobbying from community groups.

Brighton Energy Co-op director Will Cottrell said: “We have made this decision reluctantly but our primary concern is for our investors.

“We felt that, given the uncertainty surrounding feed-in-tariff for community schemes, it was more sensible to wait until the government was clear what support it will give to community schemes.

“We are very disappointed that our plans, which we have been working on for the past 18 months, now have to be put on hold because of events outside of our control.

“However, we are determined to bring community-owned green energy to Brighton and Hove and continue to do so once the government has decided on the feed-in-tariff levels for community schemes.

“We would like to thank our investors and local people for their ongoing support.”

Damian Tow, Brighton Energy Co-op’s project director, said: “The speed of the feed-in tariff cut by 12 December has made it impossible for us to continue with confidence.

“We urge the government to show support for community-owned energy schemes which, after all, incorporate many of its Big Society aims.”

  1. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    The Govt. is completely mad and totally irresponsible to fail to see the constructive contribution to Britain’s long-term advantage if solar panelling is encouraged onto as many rooftops as possible – by offering a decent feed-in tariff – NOT BY CUTTING IT IN HALF TO DISCOURAGE SOLAR PANEL INSTALLATION.

    The feed-in tariff is a qui-pro-quo inducement instead of a Central Government one-way handout.

    What is the matter with this bizarre coalition anyway? How dim are the Scrooges advising this government? Or is the dimness all on the political side?

    I’m starting to worry that Billy Bunter, Bertie Wooster, with Basil Fawlty and his mates are running the country by mistake! Stan and Ollie need to wake up their ideas. What’s going on…..!!!!!!!!?

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