Changing subsidy rates

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Brighton Energy Co-operative were forced to revise their funding model just three days before they were due to launch their first share offer, following a sudden announcement by the government that they were cutting Feed-in Tariff rates by 50%. At a tense meeting the team reviewed their position, and ironically the printed share offer documents arrived during this meeting. With heavy hearts the team agreed to postpone the share launch until an unspecified date. While this was a major blow, it is a harsh truth about community renewables: even with the best planning in the world things can go wrong. For the team it meant a degree of soul-searching: could they continue doing this? They chose not to give up and kept going in the face of these setbacks, although they were relieved to have other sources of income to sustain them through this difficult period. Over time the price of solar panels fell dramatically, and by May 2012 the price of UK solar had fallen a staggering 60% compared to six months previously. This outweighed the 50% cut in FiTs and meant they were back where they had been six months previously. With another FiT change looming, they hurriedly re-scheduled the share offer. With all the materials and legal agreements in place from the previous November, the team re-activated the marketing plan for the share launch. The share offer was a great success - they raised £180,000 in the month period allocated.

Source: Community-Led Photovoltaic Initiatives action pack