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matters, and the practical delivery of renewable and other micro-generation systems; n Produce practical tools, advice and guidance for members on technical, commercial and safety aspects; n Contribute to the development of microgeneration and renewables standards; n Enhance members’ access to renewables and microgeneration courses; n Help to demonstrate industry leadership – presenting our views on the development/review of policy and legislation, fiscal instruments, qualifications and accreditation; and n Showcase government and other reports, and other useful documents.

The RIG will also support the ECA’s activity aimed at: n Developing industry messages for key stakeholders; n Engaging with key industry groups; and n Contributing to the role of microgeneration in the forthcoming Green Deal.

While the spotlight is likely to be on photovoltaic (PV)

microgeneration, RIG will also be able to cover members’ interests in other areas of renewables and microgeneration activity such as: n Micro and other wind turbines; n Combined heat and power; n Electrically powered air to air heat pumps;

Avalanche of renewables policy

Recent examples of the many outputs from government and its agencies include:

UK Renewable Energy Roadmap The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap is the government’s action plan for accelerating the UK’s deployment of renewable energy. It aims to show how to achieve the UK’s 2020 targets, while also cutting the cost of renewable energy over time. It is important to note that ‘renewable

energy’ refers to installations of all sizes; it is not confined to microgeneration. Significantly, the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap identifies eight technologies that have either the greatest potential to deliver the 2020 target in a cost- effective and sustainable way, or offer great potential for the decades that follow. These technologies include: n Onshore wind; n Offshore wind; n Marine energy; n Biomass electricity; n Ground source heat pumps; n Air source heat pumps; and n Renewable transport.

Energy from wind, biomass and heat pumps

are put forward as the leading contributors. The remaining renewable energy necessary to meet the 2020 target will come from sources such as hydropower, solar PV (note that PV is mentioned but it does not make the ‘top eight’ technologies), and deep geothermal heat and power.

The Microgeneration Strategy Microgeneration includes small renewable energy installations such as PV and wind power, but also installations – such as heat pumps and combined heat and power – that still rely on fossil fuel energy (they are, however, very carbon efficient). In June 2011, DECC published its Microgeneration Strategy. This focuses on overcoming the barriers to installing microgeneration, in addition to the need for financial incentives to offset the up-front costs. The Microgeneration Strategy is restricted

to England, but some of the proposals apply more widely in the UK. It is built on two core principles: 1) The government provides financial incentives to support the growth of local small-scale renewable energy generation, but this support will be reduced as the sector ‘achieves critical mass and innovation drives down costs’.

For small-scale electricity, the financial

incentive is the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs); for heat, it is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). 2) Financial incentives alone will not guarantee growth in small-scale onsite ‘low to no’ carbon energy, because of non-financial barriers. Government, industry and consumers need to address these barriers, but the ‘onus is on industry to make the most of the opportunities presented by financial incentives’. This will require better quality, performance and cost reductions. The government will ensure ‘that consumers continue to be robustly protected’. The Microgeneration Strategy includes topics such as: n The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) – maximising the effectiveness of the MCS scheme in ensuring high-quality design and installation, and improving consumer confidence; n The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) – creating a regulatory environment and assessment framework to properly represent the contribution of microgeneration technologies to low carbon buildings; n Skills and knowledge – ensuring there are sufficient skills and knowledge in the industry


ECA Today September 2011

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