Launched in 2010, the feed-in tariffs offered those generating up to 5 megawatts of electricity from renewables to be fed into the national grid, an additional tax-free export tariff, with costs covered by all consumers. The rate falling each year. For solar, the contract term was 25 years, with wind energy, hydropower, energy from biomass and anaerobic digestion the feed-in tariff eligibility was guaranteed for 20 years.
In relation to solar power the feed-in tariff has been a great success. Yet early in 2016, the UK government decided to drastically cut the feed-in tariff for new installations, which saw companies go out of business as the numbers of people coming forward to install solar panels plummeted.
In April 2019, the feed-in tariff scheme will close entirely to newcomers and there are no signs that it will be replaced. There have been concerns raised that the government had not taken into consideration that the scheme was not solely about producing clean energy, but engaging individuals at a local level which had a cultural, political and social impact. Some have suggested the government had been influenced by fossil-fuel industries to end the scheme.
The falling costs of solar panels and other solar technologies such as household batteries and electric cars offers hope to solar companies, particularly with the advent of household batteries that stores solar energy throughout the day, which is then used at night, allowing people to use rather than export their solar electricity for which they would get one-third of the retail value.
The economies of scale for solar energy is also improving. The cost of solar panels has also fallen since 2010. When the feed-in tariffs began, a typical 4KW of solar panels cost between £12,000 and £14,000, which can now be bought for around £6,000 including the battery.
The World Bank has a membership of 189 nations. It has been credited with supporting huge infrastructure projects including projects on renewables and other energy innovations across Asia, Africa, and South America.