With the implementation of the Feed in Tariff in April small scale domestic renewable electricity systems have had a real boost.
Technologies such as small scale wind turbines, solar PV, small scale hydro, and anaerobic digestion installations below 5MW now provide a fixed rate of return giving certainty of investment and making it easier to obtain finance. This scheme is encouraging a large increase in deployment as more individuals, communities and organisations grasp the opportunity to generate additional revenue, cut bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
Scottish Renewables was a member of the stakeholder group responsible for shaping the Feed-in Tariff. The scheme has been a great success with currently over a thousand installations in Scotland registered under the scheme. However like any new scheme the Feed-in Tariff has not been without its difficulties. Scottish Renewables will continue to engage with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and other key stakeholders to ensure that the scheme continues to facilitate the development of micro-renewable projects for years to come.
Heat accounts for 60% of domestic energy costs, almost a third of the population do not have access to mains gas and therefore have to utilise more polluting and expensive fossil fuels to heat their homes. This is a significant contributing factor to many of the 800,000 households in Scotland that currently live in fuel poverty. Delivering renewable heat in Scotland is of the upmost importance to not only help tackle climate change but to also address and protect against further fuel poverty, as oil prices continue to rise.
The proposed Renewable Heat Incentive was subject to much praise in Scotland where the industry has long been calling for a similar mechanism to the Renewable Obligation to help establish a strong renewable heat sector. The UK Government’s delay in announcing their plans for the scheme has shrouded the industry in uncertainty.
Deployment of technologies such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal panels needs to be drastically increased if we are going to achieve the Scottish Governments 11% target by 2020. It is imperative that Scotland and the UK make huge strides in the heat sector to ensure energy security and to address climate change.
Scottish Renewables seeks to help its members through ensuring the implementation of the Renewable Heat Incentive and through the development of necessary supporting infrastructure to allow the householders , businesses and communities (particularly those based off the gas grid) to install renewable heat solutions.
The planning system has often caused delays and unnecessary complications to the installation of renewable technologies. The government has tried to address this for micro-renewable technologies that will have minimal impact on the neighbouring population to the installation. Scottish Renewables has been heavily involved with this process, and will continue to be so, to ensure that these criteria are not overly restrictive on the range of micro-renewable technologies.
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme has proved to be a barrier for firms wishing to become accredited to install domestic renewable energy solutions. Scottish Renewables recognised this issue and has been an instrumental part of the Scottish Microgeneration Working Group that has been working with the Government to establish a scheme more in line with the needs and skill base of the Scottish work force. The group has made significant head way and is hopeful of seeing some significant progress over the course of 2011.
Looking to install a micro-renewable system, follow this link to find out what you need to know.