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Solar Trade Association update

April 25, 2013 featured image

The Solar Trade Association is constantly striving to improve the solar sector, for consumers and installers. Here’s an update of the bodies latest activity:

DECC Consultation on Domestic RHI

In the run up to the September 2012 consultation, STA formed a contact group for RHI and this group was involved in a number of meetings with DECC officials. Our intervention ensured that solar thermal was included in the RHI, rather than being side-lined into a grant scheme of its own (to follow the introduction of RHI), and that the consultation kept open the option of a grant above the “value for money” cap, and the idea of a cylinder grant.

The Consultation Response was prepared over several weeks with the help of the Thermal WG and with two opportunities for members to comment.

Subsequently, STA has been actively engaged with DECC, providing further information and clarification of some of the modelling that underpinned in the consultation response.

Clear call for 27p

STA has written to the Minister to ensure that the call for a tariff rate above the so-called “value for money” cap was heard directly.

Call for RHPP to be doubled

In response to the announcement of the delay to the RHI to spring 2014, STA proposed a doubling of the RHPP.  It has now coordinated a joint letter from all theUKrenewable heating trade bodies to the Minister  with this proposal.

Letter from UK Solar Manufacturers to Greg Barker

Stuart Elmes coordinated a letter from 14 companies with UK-based solar thermal manufacturing to the minister.  The letter was highlighting the large proportion of the value chain in theUK, and supporting the STA call for 27p.

Work in MCS WG to improve the energy calculation for solar thermal

If you can’t increase the tariff, then see what you can do to increase the deemed energy.  Stuart Elmes has been working within the MCS solar thermal working group to improve the energy saving estimate in the new draft of MIS3001.  The consultation draft included changes to the way the calculation will deal with occupancy, back up heater efficiency and hot water cylinder losses.  These changes double the solar energy estimate in some instances.

Work with BRE to improve the energy calculation for solar thermal

The calculation methodology for RHI is not settled, but SAP is behind all of the candidates.  Stuart Elmes has been in correspondence with BRE in relation to the treatment of solar thermal in SAP.  It is not possible to reveal details at the present time, but the STA is hopeful to achieve a significant boost to the solar thermal energy calculation.

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