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British Solar Trade Association

Great Britain: Can the UK solar thermal market recover from its terminal decline?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 4, 2013

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)

UK: Domestic RHI Tariff Applies to Installations After 15 July 2009

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 5, 2013

In July 2013 the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) confirmed the tariff rates for the long-awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The Government’s press release at 12 July 2013 promises that the solar thermal tariff will be set at ‘at least 19.2 Pound Stirling pence (p)/kWh’. This compares with 7.3 p/kWh for air source heat pumps, 12.2 p/kWh for biomass boilers and 18.8 p/kWh for ground source heat pumps.

UK: More Good than Bad News from the British Islands

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 2, 2013

In March 2013, the UK Government came under criticism for their updated heat strategy when they announced further delays to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) being made applicable to householders. As a stop-gap, it was announced in parallel to extend the householder’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme for another year. In summary, much of the uncertainty about these schemes has been blamed for a 35% drop in UK solar thermal sales. Since then, better news has been offered by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

Great Britain: RHI Delays Blamed for 35% Drop Solar Thermal Sales

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 8, 2013

Quarterly solar thermal statistics from the UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) covering 80 % of the total market volume show that solar thermal sales have decreased by 35% in the first quarter of 2013 when measured against the same period in 2012 (see chart on the left and attached document). This news comes at the same time as the UK Government, in updating their heat strategy, announces further delays to making the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) eligible for householders: the so-called ‘Phase 2’ of the RHI scheme. This is now the second delay to the roll-out of Phase 2. When the RHI was first launched, the scheme was supposedly going to be made available to domestic customers in October 2012. However, in their factsheet published on 24 October 2012, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) stated their intention to introduce the domestic RHI “in the summer of 2013”. But then on 26 March this year DECC released a press release that the launch of this scheme will now be pushed back once more until spring 2014: a full 18 months later than originally promised. DECC now state that further confirmation and proposed tariff levels will be published later this year. In the meantime, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2014.
Figure: Solar Trade Assocation

Great Britain: Low Impact of RHI on Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 11, 2012

 RHI Logo Five months after the introduction of the Renewable Heating Incentive for commercial installations, the scheme’s effect on the solar thermal sector is almost zero. Of the 21 renewable heating systems approved by the end of April 2012, 16 are solid biomass boilers, 4 heat pump projects – and only one is a solar thermal system. The same imbalance can be found across all of the applications submitted to the RHI authorities. There are only 7 solar thermal projects among the 485 sent-in papers, the RHI helpline of Ofgem, UK’s electricity and gas regulator, confirmed at the beginning of May. Ofgem is in charge of paying the feed-in tariff to the owners of renewable heating systems. 80 % to 90 % of the submitted projects are based on biomass. The remaining projects all include a heat pump solution.
Source: Ofgem

Great Britain: Solar Industry Summit discussed Solar Incentive Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 19, 2011

 London ” The UK currently holds the attention of the world with two government solar subsidy schemes – one for PV and one for solar thermal. The conference Solar Industry Summit – UK 2011, organized by the German company Solarpraxis in the middle of May in London, combined the interest of both technologies. Many are wondering which subsidy and which technology will win in the end – so far the PV feed-in tariff is the first in the race.
Photo. Free Spirit Fotolia

Great Britain: Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme to launch in June 2011

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 1, 2010

On 20 October 2010, after a comprehensive review of Great Britain’s Government Spending, it was announced that the long-awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will launch in June 2011. The RHI will provide financial support for those who install renewable heating systems, and will support a range of technologies including solar thermal, biomass boilers, combined heat and power, biogas, bioliquids, geothermal and the injection of bio-methane into the natural gas grid.

Dynamic Market Growth in the UK

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 2, 2009

The UK was still one of the most dynamic solar thermal markets in Europe in 2008 – despite the worldwide economic crisis. According to the British Solar Trade Association (STA), the amount of solar thermal collectors installed countrywide in 2008 grew by 50 % to 81,000 m2 (57 MWth)."

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