The recent announcement of a review of feed-in tariff (FIT) payments for large-scale solar photovoltaic installations was met with a chorus of disapproval from solar companies, agricultural groups and environmentalists.

The NFU called the proposal to slash the FIT rate for projects over 50kWp as "ill-judged" and "extremely damaging".

Undoubtedly, the back-tracking done by the Government on the FIT rates has caused confusion and consternation – rightly so – within the industry, but nonetheless the decision is the correct one.

Large-scale solar farms, like that being developed at Prothither Farm near Hoarwithy, are claimed to be more cost-efficient but have few benefits compared with smaller installations.

They often don't generate electricity where it's needed and energy is lost in transmission.

They are also much slower to construct due to planning and grid connection issues.

A hundred 50kWp systems will create far more jobs than a single 5,000kWp solar farm.

Smaller systems also offer great opportunities to engage people in changing their behaviour around energy use, energy efficiency and sustainability.

Limiting the feed-in tariff to smaller scale PV systems should create a much more sustainable solar industry in the UK that is around for decades to come.

Much better than a gold rush to lay claim to the FIT money available only for the industry to fall to its knees a few years down the line.

Jamie Baldwin

(Caplor Energy, Fownhope)