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Great Britain: Solar thermal proposed to exit the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 8, 2016
The previously reported rumours of significant changes for solar thermal support in the UK have now been confirmed by the government in a consultation proposal on 3 March. Already we knew the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in Northern Ireland is suspended to all new renewable technologies. We now also know for new solar thermal systems in the rest of the UK that RHI support is proposed to be removed in 2017. This is for both RHI schemes domestic and non-domestic. The details have been released under the consultation document ‘The Renewable Heat Incentive: A reformed and refocused scheme’ (see attached pdf). The industry can comment to this consultation before the 27th April 2016. Already on the same day the Solar Trade Association (STA) published a protest note titled: British manufacturers and social housing providers join call for urgent rethink.

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

All-Energy Exhibition & Conference, Aberdeen

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 8, 2013

The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference will take place in ‘Europe’s Energy City’, Aberdeen, on 21 and 22 May 2014. As an annual event, All-Energy brings together all sectors and elements of the renewables / sustainable energy industry and provides a platform for the industry’s business professionals, academia, finance community and government to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities across the sectors; buy and sell products and services; and engage in outstanding networking.

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.

Great Britain: Zero Carbon or Nearly Zero Carbon?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 13, 2013

In December 2006, the UK Government set a new policy that all new homes in England would be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 and introduced an initiative called the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), which would allow ratings to measure different levels of compliance. Although initially confusing, the term ‘Carbon’ in fact means anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide emissions. Although these ratings did not specifically promote solar thermal, it was most difficult to comply with the ratings without renewable technologies on the building. Ever since, several governmental announcements brought delay and doubts into this far-reaching climate protection policy. The photo shows a low carbon building in the town of Rothwell, Northamptonshire that achieves reductions of 65 % compared to Part L of the building regulations 2006.

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

All-Energy Exhibition & Conference, Aberdeen

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 14, 2013

The All-Energy Exhibition & Conference will take place in ‘Europe’s Energy City’, Aberdeen, on 22 and 23 May 2013. As an annual event, All-Energy brings together all sectors and elements of the renewables / sustainable energy industry and provides a platform for the industry’s business professionals, academia, finance community and government to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities across the sectors; buy and sell products and services; and engage in outstanding networking. The free-to-attend event covers the complete range of renewable and sustainable technologies and offers a multi-stream conference alongside.
 

EU Project: RELACS in Sustainable Holiday Accommodations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 11, 2013

What have the Albena resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (see photo), the Bräuer restaurant in Weißkirchen, Austria, and the 2 Danby Cottages in the UK’s Forest of Dean in common? They are all part of the RELACS network. RELACS is short for “REnewabLe energy for tourist ACcommodation buildingS”, a project funded by the European Commission programme Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE). Its partners include hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and youth hostels in ten European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The photo shows the Arabella Beach hotel in Albena, Bulgaria, whose solar system produces 40 % of the building’s annual hot water.
Photo: RELACS

Ecobuild 2014, London

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 8, 2013

Ecobuild 2014 will take place from 4 to 6 March at London’s ExCeL exhibition and conference centre. The Exhibition and Conference is one of the world’s biggest events for sustainable design, construction and the built environment. In 2013 about 45.000 industry professionals visited the fair and more than 1,000 suppliers presented their products.

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

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