I've never understood why one particular technology should have such a massive indirect government-controlled subsidy. In fact, we consumers are providing the funding through our electricity bills. The problem with this is its not equal and those at the poorer end of society see few of the benefits.
The PV industry has made some green entrepreneurs and investors very rich with schemes like "lease a roof" and some land owners who were able to capture the generous subsidy for larger arrays of PV installations of solar farms, before it was scaled back earlier.
Some would argue that without this subsidy, the deployment of the PV technology would not have had the scale of impact that it has had. This is probably true. But it doesn't take away the fact that gimmicks to provide a bit more "green bling" has negatively impacted on areas where the money could have been spent , for example, providing more targeted lower carbon and energy saving measures like insulation, controls and making sure householder's heating systems were set up correctly and re-commissioned for optimal performance.
It's a national scandal that so many people - especially the young and elderly - live in fuel poverty. This should be the priority of any policy makers.
So I wouldn't argue with the fact that the Government has announced that the tariff for householders will be reduced from 43p to 21p per PV unit generated (still a very big subsidy). Perhaps the big argument should be that the Government has ineptly made the cut within six weeks of Christmas. The onset of winter weather makes roof installation potentially problematic and the 11 December deadline is likely to create a stampede akin to the Klondike gold rush.
PV panels and the inverters they need are in short supply, with some wholesalers running out of stock completely. One told me: "The cupboard is bare. Contractors are scrambling to find the kit accepting panel manufacturing names they've never heard off to meet customer demand".
On top of this, prices are rising with the resulting problem of supply and demand. This leads to the possibility of unscrupulous installers reaping more rewards as householders try to beat the deadline.
With an estimated three-fold monthly installation increase over the next four weeks, there is also the prospect of Microgeneration Certification Scheme providers not being able to cope with the administration and verification of these installations. And the administration of the electricity companies will be stretched as they try to cope with an influx of FiT applications.
All this goes to show what happens when the bean counters at the Treasury make a knee jerk reaction to a scheme that has provided the inevitable gold rush for the better off in society.
If the Government had stuck to their original plan of reducing the FiT on 31 March, 2012 - after all only four months away - the transition would have been more orderly and they wouldn't have created such a mess. This is another example of politicians and bureaucrats out of touch with the real world of industry.