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[ Green: Light ]


n Fuel cells; and n Marine power.


Renewables policy on the horizon Someone once said that if government policy and targets were action, the UK would already be world number one in renewables. As it is, the recent UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), aims to make renewable energy a lynchpin of long-range UK government policy. That policy includes the production of 30 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2020. This is a fairly astonishing stretch target (the current contribution of renewables is much less than 10 per cent) – and the deadline is only nine years away. Government policy and fiscal support (see the Avalanche


of renewables policy box on this page) will, of course, have a profound effect on the future of UK renewables activity. ECA policy and technical staff are continually assessing the implications of a virtual conveyor belt of policy, reports, consultations and fiscal measures from the government and its agencies. The new RIG forum will greatly increase our ability to discuss these documents with members who are in the day-to-day business of delivering renewable technology and services and interacting with customers. This summer, the ECA and NICEIC published their


2021 Vision: The Future of the Electrical Contracting Industry report. The 2021 Vision report highlights how important microgeneration and renewables will be to


The forum provides practical support to ECA members’ growing activity in the design, installation and servicing of ‘low to no’ carbon energy systems


electrical contractors and the wider electrical and building services industry. Renewables and microgeneration mean new commercial opportunities – but also new challenges. In addition to understanding and influencing the policy landscape, everyday issues range from ensuring a safe method of work to becoming more conversant with ‘payback’ and financial information. RIG members will be able to access supporting guidance on these issues, and more. The Renewables and Microgeneration Group is an


important new step for the ECA. ECA registered members will be contacted directly about how to join the new RIG, while other readers of ECA Today who would like to know more about our renewables and energy efficiency activity can contact the RIG secretariat at marina.cassimati@eca. co.uk We look forward to hearing from you.


References


2021 Vision: The Future of the Electrical Contracting Industry. Published by the ECA and NICEIC in July 2011. The Microgeneration Strategy is available at: www.decc.gov.uk/ publications/basket.aspx?filetype=4&filepath=11%2fmeeting-energy- demand%2fmicrogeneration%2f2015-microgeneration-strategy. pdf&minwidth=true#basket The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap is available at: www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/ meeting_energy/renewable_ener/re_roadmap/re_roadmap.aspx Ofgem’s latest FITs report is at: www.ofgem.gov.uk/Pages/MoreInformation.aspx?docid =13&refer=Sustainability/Environment/fits/Newsletter The RHI scheme is explained in more detail at: www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/ meeting_energy/renewable_ener/incentive/incentive.aspx www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/renewable_ener/incentive/ factsheet/factsheet.aspx


to meet the demands of a rapidly growing sector; and n Technology – how to produce clear guidance on the technologies, tackle grid and connection issues, and encourage reliable market growth.


Ofgem’s report on FITs Also in the summer, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) issued its latest report on Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) for microrenewable installations. Ofgem reported that more than 42,000 installations had registered for the FITs scheme by mid-June 2011. This figure includes units installed since FITs began on 1 April 2010 and those previously claiming payments under the Renewables Obligation. To date, more than 70 per cent of FITs installations are photovoltaic (PV) systems. Ofgem’s report also includes a geographical


breakdown of where microgeneration installation has occurred across Great Britain, and a breakdown of installations by building type. Currently, a domestic consumer who installs


an MCS certificated PV system of under 4 kWatt peak (kWp) onto an existing properly is paid a ‘generation tariff’ for the electricity generated


(whether they use the electricity or not) of just over 43p/kW. This tariff will last for 25 years and is inflation-linked. An ‘export tariff’ (3.1p/ kW) is then added for electricity that is sent to the grid. The customer also saves around 12.5p/kW (or more) on their electricity bill by using electricity from the solar PV system. An ideally situated 2kWp system could generate around 1,700kWh per year, earning the property owner around £700 a year. This benefit is likely to rise due to energy price rises. However, from April 2012, expect FITs for


new PV installations to be reduced. The FIT for installing PV above 50kW capacity was greatly reduced from 1 August 2011.


Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in time for autumn... The first details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) were announced by DECC in March 2011. The RHI will provide up to £860 million of long-term financial support for renewable heat installations, starting on 30 September 2011 with an RHI for business and communities. RHI tariffs will be paid for 20 years to eligible renewable heat technologies installed since 15 July 2009, based on metered kilowatts of heat


produced. Significantly, domestic installations will not qualify for an RHI tariff until October 2012. However, in July, the government also


launched a multi-million pound Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP). The RHPP is open to qualifying domestic applications until March next year, on a first-come-first-served basis. This scheme – which typically offers £300-£1,250 to help towards the cost of installing heating systems such as air source heat pumps and solar thermal panels – will focus on households that are not heated by mains gas. The Premium Payment scheme will be run by the Energy Saving Trust. At present, air source heat pumps are not


included in the RHI – the government wants to know a lot more about how effective these systems are before providing a supporting tariff under the RHI. Even so, they do now enjoy some support under the RHPP. There is considerable jargon surrounding heat pumps, but in essence an air source heat pump operates on the same principle as a domestic refrigerator – though it delivers useful heat rather than cold. The efficiency of a heat pump is expressed as a ‘coefficient of performance’, the ratio of energy delivered by the heat pump.


September 2011 ECA Today 21


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