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STA response to RHI announcements

Comment on DECC's announcements on the Renewable Heat Incentive from STA CEO Paul Barwell.

Commenting on DECC’s announcements on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), STA CEO Paul Barwell said:

“While this latest delay to the domestic RHI is undoubtedly an enormous disappointment to the solar thermal industry, we remain committed to working constructively with DECC to ensure that there is no further slippage. We must ensure that a successful domestic RHI is finally launched next spring.”

The STA understands that DECC intends to make a definitive announcement in the summer covering the tariff levels, the deeming methodology, the eligibility criteria and the treatment of legacy installations. It is extremely important that DECC quickly provide certainty to the market in this way to reduce the negative impact of this most recent delay. Customers would then have confidence to make a purchasing decision safe in the knowledge that they will qualify.

Paul Barwell continues:

“DECC also announced that the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP) would be extended for another year, but we call on DECC to double the value of these RHPP payments for solar thermal as an interim measure to show commitment and support to the heat sector. We need a boost for our UK manufacturers and installers so that we have a strong supply chain ready for the introduction of the RHI next year. Increasing the solar thermal RHPP from £300 to £600 would not cost any more as install rates have halved since the peak in 2010.”

Stuart Elmes, chair of the STA Solar Thermal Working Group, said:

“The announcement of a review of the tariffs for the commercial RHI seems unlikely to improve deployment rates for solar thermal unless the so-called ‘value for money cap’ is reconsidered. The STA has suggested that the tariff period be shortened for solar thermal to make it more attractive, and we will continue to press DECC for a commercial RHI that works for solar thermal.

“Solar thermal has a significant role to play in commercial buildings with a demand for low temperature heat, buildings such as hospitals, hotels, swimming pools, food processing plants and educational residences.”


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