UK Energy Minister Greg Barker, initiator of The Green Deal, called it a “flagship energy efficiency programme” during the launch of the scheme in the beginning 2013. One and half years later Barker stepped down as minister and the statistics of the Green Deal shows a rather poor performance despite more than half-a-billion pounds of taxpayers’ money being spent. The question is now whether the whole scheme can survive after the parliament members of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee report delivered a highly critical review of the programme’s performance and describes how “the first eighteen months of the Green Deal have been largely wasted”.
Banner: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
The UK has two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) that assist solar thermal. The non-domestic variant (non-dRHI) has operated since November 2011. The variant for households (dRHI) has operated since April 2014. Whereas the share of solar thermal applications within the non-DRHI is still low with 3 % (left chart), every fifth new domestic renewable heating system contains a solar water heater (right chart). For solar thermal, the non-dRHI currently pays 0.10 GBP/kWh for 20 years and the dRHI currently pays the end-user tariff at a rate of 0.192 Pound Sterling (GBP)/kWh for 7 years. Both rates will be annually adjusted for inflation through the payment period. The pie charts show the numbers of accreditations of non-dRHI and dRHI technologies.
Source: Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem)
The domestic Renewable Heating Incentive (dRHI) for England, Wales and Scotland has been launched on 9 April 2014. For solar thermal, the dRHI will pay the end-user tariff at a rate of 0.192 Pound Sterling (GBP)/kWh for 7 years. The existing non-domestic RHI scheme continues at a new rate adjusted for inflation of 0.094 GBP/kWh for 20 years. The dRHI applies to biomass boilers & stoves, ground-source & air-source heat pumps heating and solar thermal DHW for single homes. The subsidy is for properties capable of getting a domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which confirms the property is a domestic dwelling. The recipient of the subsidy is the owner of the heating system. So this can be the person owning and living in the home, a private landlord or a registered social landlord. In general it is not applicable to a new home unless this has been self-built. Other requirements are that the property should also have a Green Deal Assessment (GDA) and where the GDA recommends installing loft and cavity wall insulation, these must first be fitted before applying for the dRHI. New self-built house can be exempt from the GDA requirement, as these will be assumed to have adequate building insulation. There are initial costs to the user to first obtain the EPC and GDA. (Find more information in the database of incentive programmes.)
For almost a year now, the UK government has been recording statistics on all the subsidised renewable heating and electricity installations. It is now possible to compare the success of the subsidies for different technologies using the peak power rating. The chart shows the cumulative peak power for non-household projects within the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Solar thermal has had a poor performance with only 1 MW installed capacity since 2010, which represents less than 1 % of all RHI-subsidised renewable heat installations. This is no surprise because the number of UK sales by square metre of collector area has been in decline since mid-2011.
Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)