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University of the Highlands and Islands

Scotland: “More Needs to be Done to Highlight the Benefits of Solar Thermal”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 17, 2013

In 2009 The Scottish Government instigated the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES). This originally provided funding for renewable projects including solar thermal projects when they were associated with not-for-profit communities. In March 2011 this scheme underwent a change due to the conditions that applied to the national renewable energy tariffs especially the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Feed-In tariff. Essentially now the decision for the communities became either to accept only a grant from CARES without the tariffs or find the capital funding without a grant and enjoy a long-term return from the tariffs. So the result became that only very few projects wanted to miss out on the tariffs and solar thermal applications are no longer benefitting much under the main CARES scheme. Although solar thermal had been reasonably popular in the first phase of the CARES scheme with solar thermal systems completed up to 2011 such as in schools and community centres, 2012 saw no applications for solar thermal plants within the new scheme.

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