58 HPM 0416

HPM-04-APR-2016

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES What next for the renewables industry? Following the Autumn Statement and Spending Review, the renewables industry has been left in a state of uncertainty. Mark Krull, director at Logic4training, irons out the confusion for installers looking to reassure existing and prospective customers... New statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have been a ray of sunshine for the renewables sector with the reported number of installations completed under the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) having risen by a third in just 12 months. The figures show that to the end of January 2016, overall FiT installations had reached 853,158 applications – 30% increase in the number of installations – with solar pv responsible for 99.7% of the increase in installs. In the same vein, the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme is getting the backing of the public with more than 80% of applicants claiming they’re very happy with their new systems, proving that such schemes do have influence and a positive impact on interest and take-up. Renewable installers are also among this happy community too, with the majority of accredited renewable heat installers reporting that the RHI has been ‘wholly positive’ in its influence on the renewable heat technology market. The government’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review, however, announced at the back end of last year, left the renewables industry in a state of uncertainty as Chancellor George Osborne laid out his plans to ‘reform’ the likes of the RHI, as well as slashing budgets for DECC and DEFRA. As ever, with governmental policies, there is good news and bad news. The RHI scheme, which provides financial incentives to suppliers if renewable heat, will see its funding rise to £1.15 billion in 2021 – an extension on previous timescales, but overall spend will be around £700 million lower in a bid to deliver ‘more value for money’. The exact details of how such cuts will be achieved are yet to be announced. So, in light of the cuts and changes to the renewable energy policies, what is left out there in terms of fiscal incentives and ‘green positivity’ to encourage homeowners to welcome green technologies into their homes? DOMESTIC RHI Between May 2014 and April 2015, 25,568 successful applications were received by the domestic RHI of which 17,181 were legacy applications, and 8,387 were new applications. But it does go to show just how important the existence of funding/subsidies is as nearly half of those questioned about the trigger for investing WWW.HPMMAG.COM in a new heating system stated that the availability of a grant or other funding was key to their decision. As mentioned above, the scheme is under review (at the time of writing) – at present applicants can still expect quarterly cash payments over a period of seven years for installing an eligible renewable heating technology. As it stands, applications from here-on will receive: • 5.14p for biomass boilers and stoves • 7.42p for air source heat pumps • 19.10p for ground source heat pumps • 19.51p for solar thermal. There was a recent biomass tariff reduction that kicked in on January 1 this year: the degression trigger for biomass has been passed meaning that the price per kilowatt hour has now been cut by 20% for all new applications. Other renewable technologies have not been affected. In Northern Ireland, however, the RHI scheme and renewables have been hit hard with a suspension now in place as a result of a decision by the UK treasury to halt funding. It is feared that as many as 2,000 jobs could be lost in the sector. FEED-IN TARIFF January saw the introduction of the new and reduced FiT, which now means that any homeowner looking to install a rooftop array will receive a rate of 4.39/kWh for their system under the scheme which was ‘unpaused’ as of February 8. According to the Solar Trade Association (STA), solar will remain a good investment for 58 APRIL 2016 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY homeowners, (despite the whopping 64% cut on the previous rate for systems of four kW and under), as it will deliver a tax-free return of investment of around five per cent if they have installed a competitively-priced system. The STA has been fighting the corner for the solar sector of late, with regards to the cuts to FiTs. Such is its force, the association has had a direct, positive impact on the revised final tariffs, as well as the allocation of increased budget for solar under the £100 million cap. The House of Lords has also agreed to consider the balance of caps between years and implemented a cap system which will see any under spend recycled. One other recommendation from the STA is to reduce the ten per cent contingent degression figure to five per cent to avoid hyper-degression; the House of Lords has agreed to re-address. SMART GENERATION Aside from the green subsidies available attracting homeowners to go green, we will all be forced to address the issue of energy efficiency in 2016. The government’s target of fitting 50 million smart gas and electricity meters in 27 million homes by 2020 is very real, with training facilities and smart metering qualifications already up-and-running across the country. Smart meters are set to play an integral role in the future of energy usage in our homes, empowering homeowners to better control, and understand, their consumption of energy. The sector is currently calling for operatives to support this emerging market, reaching out to both candidates within the gas and electric industries, as well as completely new entrants. The green and sustainable landscape is changing. The future of ‘green’ subsidies may be in question long-term, but this does not spell the end for installers looking to help homeowners cut carbon – homeowners are behind renewables and fast-accepting that they are to play a major role in our future. The industry will continue to evolve and look at new routes to energy efficiency success, be that through renewables or changing the way we use more traditional technologies. enquiry number 139 The number of renewables fitted under the RHI has risen by a third in just 12 months


HPM-04-APR-2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above