Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme: Solar Power

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 9th May 2019.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending Solar Thermal applications allowed under the Renewable Heat Incentive to both domestic hot water systems and domestic heating systems at the same time.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

The Department considered whether solar thermal should be allowed for space heating when the scheme was being designed in 2012/2013. The decision to restrict support to domestic hot water only solar thermal systems for the domestic RHI was based on the following considerations:

  • At the time that we made our decision, market intelligence showed that only a small minority of solar thermal systems were designed to provide space heating and there was limited performance data.
  • Supporting solar thermal for space heating would not present good value for money, as the RHI is taxpayer-funded – this is because solar thermal systems are only capable of meeting a small portion of a house’s heat demand, and are not as cost-effective in space heating when compared to other technologies.

The Government currently has no plans to review its position on support for solar thermal on the RHI.

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