No UK planning permission needed for solar from today.

From today, April 6th, all homeowners will be able to install microgeneration equipment, like solar panels, without needing to get planning permission, as long as there is clearly no impact on others. Many householders want to install microgeneration technology, but are often put off by the time and cost involved in getting planning permission first.

Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks said, “The fight against climate change is not just about multi million pound renewable energy projects. Solar panels, biomass and heat pumps also have a vital role to play. Installing small-scale devices has just become a lot easier for homeowners. Microgeneration enables the concerned individual to become an active citizen in tackling global warming.”

“Now planning permission has been relaxed, I believe this will encourage more people to install these devices. The Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme even provides grants for homeowners towards the costs.”

The National Energy Foundation (NEF) says however that whilst it is good news that planning law has been relaxed the government has been reducing the grant amount available to an installation. Currently it stands at just £400 for a solar thermal installation which costs a minimum of £3000, with a pay-back period of between 10-20 years. The situation is even worse for solar pv and this says the NEF is holding back any substantial growth as it is not currently financially viable.

The government needs to do more if they are serious about micro generation. 

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3 Responses to No UK planning permission needed for solar from today.

  1. earthpal says:

    It’s illogical to remove obstacles such as planning permission laws then take away other incentives such as grants etc. The government is completely ignoring its own facts and figures on this.

  2. matt says:

    I agree. The only way solar on homes has grown as an option in places like California & Germany is through incentive schemes, normally involving a grant. This UK govt is failing miserably to understand this fact.

  3. Markie says:

    While subsidising-tariff systems may seem nice and, indeed, have boosted installations in Germany, a couple of major downsides persist: (1) it is a subsidy and is part of ‘big govermnment’, (2) it spoils markets and prices as the German market is one of the most expensive for buying solar technology etc, thereby effectively subsidising manufacturers and resellers instead of owners and operators of PV equipment, (3) certification systems are already in place worldwide (RECs, VERs, ROCs, and many more) but due to the hype created around consumer-style subsidised feed-in tariffs remain largely unknown; also, these programmes are mutually exclusive (under German feed-in law, you must not trade RECs when you receive a feed-in tariff for a 20-year (!!) period, for example). All said, a ‘Carbon Market’ approach that includes the ‘free’ trading of such Certificates seems both more reasonable overall and even more attractive for installation owners.The New Jersey approach offering a massive $300 per MWh amount may serve as the best example for micro generation equipment owners and enthusiasts. The latter example may even induce (foreign) investment as all installations in the state are eligible and one would not need a personal residence there in order to only receive “rebates” against one’s standard utility bill”.

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