Plans to turn the Government estate as well as factories, supermarkets and car parks into “solar hubs” have been outlined in a new strategy by Energy Minister Greg Barker today.
The Solar Strategy, the first of its kind in the UK, sets out the Governments ambition to see solar rolled out more widely and with it the potential to support tens of thousands of jobs.
Launching the Solar Strategy at SunSolar Energy in Birmingham, Energy Minister Greg Barker said:
“We have put ourselves among the world leaders on solar and this ambitious Strategy will place us right at the cutting edge.
“There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations and we must seize the opportunity this offers to boost our economy as part of our long term economic plan.
“Solar not only benefits the environment, it will see British job creation and deliver the clean and reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.”
In a further initiative, the Department for Education is working on ways to improve energy efficiency across the 22,000 schools in England, to reduce their annual energy spend of £500 million. The initiative will encourage the deployment of PV on schools alongside promoting energy efficiency.
New scheme offers cash incentive to households using renewable heating systems in their homes
A new and innovative Government scheme launched today will pay people for the green heat they generate for their homes.
The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat, offering homeowners payments to offset the cost of installing low carbon systems in their properties.
The scheme is open to everyone – home owners, social and private landlords, and people who build their own homes. It is available to households both on and off the gas grid.
Minister for Energy Greg Barker said: “This is the first scheme of its kind in the world – showing yet again that the UK is leading the way in the clean energy sector.
“Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and will also get cash payments for installing these new technologies.
“It opens up a market for the supply chain, engineers and installers – generating growth and supporting jobs as part of our long-term economic plan.”
The technologies currently covered by the scheme are:
Biomass heating systems, which burn fuel such as wood pellets, chips or logs to provide central heating and hot water in a home. Biomass-only boilers are designed to provide heating using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water. Pellet stoves with integrated boilers are designed to burn only wood pellets and can heat the room they are in directly, as well as provide heat to the rest of the home using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water.
Ground or water source heat pumps, which extract heat from the ground or water. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
Air to water heat pumps, which absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
Solar thermal panels, which collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. The two types of panels that are eligible are evacuated tube panels and liquid-filled flat plate panels.
Air-source heat pumps
Ground and water-source heat pumps
Biomass-only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers
Solar thermal panels (flat plate and evacuated tube for hot water only)
Only one space heating system is allowed per property but homeowners can apply for solar thermal for hot water and a space heating system.
The guaranteed payments are made quarterly over seven years for households in England, Wales and Scotland. (Northern Ireland has its own RHI scheme). The scheme is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of fossil fuel heat sources and renewable heat alternatives.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has already backed the scheme, and says its introduction could make 2014 a breakthrough year for renewable heating.
Mike Landy, head of on-site renewables at the REA, said:
Domestic RHI is set to be one of the highlights of the Government’s green agenda in 2014. It will mean that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible, but also financially attractive.
To find out more about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, to book a Green Deal Assessment or to receive free and impartial advice, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (England and Wales) or Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (Scotland), or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
For more details on the non-domestic scheme and free information on how to apply, visit the Ofgem website or call 0845 200 2122 (non-domestic RHI enquiry line open Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and to 4.30 pm on Fridays).