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Serious economic uncertainties by Brexit in UK

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 2, 2018
Chris Hewett, STA Chief ExecutiveIn 1978, the UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) was formed to focus on solar water heating. This year it celebrates its 40th anniversary with a chance to reflect the progress made and the future ahead. Over 200,000 solar thermal systems have been installed in the UK during its operation and there are now around 140 STA members, 57 of which are working in the solar thermal sector. “But Brexit moves closer and causes uncertainties as well for the solar thermal industry”, says Chris Hewett, STA Chief Executive (see photo).

Three labels in Europe – what are the differences?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 22, 2018
collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right)Labels and trademarks should give the end-consumer a clear feedback on the quality and performance of the labelled product. Currently there are three labels available for solar products or solar assisted heating systems in Europe, so there is an increasing need to explain the differences to market players as well as customers. The chart above shows the two voluntary collector labels Solergy (left) and Solar Keymark (centre top) as well as the EU Energy Efficiency label (right) which is obligatory for water, space and combi heaters under the Energy Labelling (ELD) and the Ecodesign (EDD) Directives  since September 2015. 

UK: How Does Solar Thermal Sustain against Photovoltaics and Biomass?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 30, 2017
KingspanAt the end of 2016 the solar thermal industry association STA campaigned successfully for solar thermal to remain in the two Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI). However, the year 2017 was so far weaker than the previous years. In the domestic RHI there were 423 residential applications accredited from January to September 2017, compared to 537 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications for commercial solar thermal plants with in the non-domestic RHI were down to 19 in this same period from 36 in the previous year.  The photo shows a 155 m² installation on the roof of the new Star Community Centre in Cardiff that opened its doors in September 2016. 
Photo: Kingspan
 

Great Britain: Solar Thermal to Remain in the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 9, 2017
non-domestic RHIAfter several months of consultation about removing new solar thermal systems from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) starting in 2017, the British government announced on 14 December 2016 that the support will in fact continue. The government published the results of the consultation in a document called The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed Scheme (see attached pdf). Here it was announced that support for new solar thermal installations will in fact continue through the RHI scheme without changes. Hence the tariff for the households will remain at the current level of 0.1974 Pound Sterling (GBP)/kWh paid over seven years and for non-households the tariff will remain at the current level of 0.1028 GBP/kWh over 20 years. Solar space heating is still not eligible. The chart shows the small portion of solar thermal accredited installations (1.57 %) in the non-domestic RHI between Q2 2014 and Q3 2016 – in total 223 solar applications since the start of the programme.
Chart: Ofgem
 

Great Britain: Rumours of Closing down Renewable Heat Incentives

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 10, 2016
GreenshopSince the win at the general election May 2015, the UK Conservative Party has made significant changes to policies that were related to energy and environment protection. These include the currently in parliament discussed reduction of subsidies for wind and solar PV with the Feed-In tariffs and the reduction of the renewable quote for electricity suppliers, that are stipulated to source an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources. Also the climate change levy (CCL) exemption from renewable electricity schemes has been removed and the Green Deal and ‘zero carbon’ homes initiatives have been abandoned. These cuts were justified by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) who announced these would be “….Reducing energy bills for hard working British families and businesses and meeting climate goals in the most cost effective way ….. ” 
Photo: The Greenshop Group

Great Britain: Performance of UK Green Deal Scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 14, 2014
Green DealUK 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)
 

Great Britain: Performance of the two UK Renewable Heat Incentive Schemes

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 3, 2014
UK RHI statisticsThe 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)
 

Great Britain: Domestic Renewable Heat Incentives with Extensive Rules

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 23, 2014
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.) 
 

Great Britain: Renewable Heating Incentive for Households is slowly revealed

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 26, 2014
The UK Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) for Households, including assistance for solar thermal, has been announced since 2010 despite the non-household version being launched late in 2011. Positive signs indicate this will now be ready before summer 2014, as the UK government recently passed the relevant draft statutory instrument. This is the result of the consultation process which start in September 2013 based on a proposal of Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).
 

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)

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