UK solar heating market trashed because of broken promises made to Europe by UK government.
In a grim example of official idiocy or doublethink the European Commission has overseen the comprehensive trashing of the UK solar thermal industry by massively incentivising renewable electric systems such as solar electric PV systems but at the same time dropping subsidies for renewable heat systems such as solar hot water systems.
A dodgy document written by David Miliband and approved by Europe claims in para 5 that Feed In Tariffs (25 year solar electricity subsidy payments) were to happen:
“in conjunction with a large increase in the use of renewable heat”
To an innocent bystander there seems to be (a) no conjunction whatever (b) no large increase in renewable heat either, but a 75% decrease instead.
Responding to this revelation, Barry Johnston, MD of Solar Twin Ltd commented today:
“It is exciting that Solar electricity has had its return on investment as a technology boosted from about 1.5% to around 7% by the introduction of generous Feed in Tariffs which are to last 25 years. While this is in many ways a good thing, it is anomalous that the solar thermal market has been abandoned by moronic bunglers in the UK government. Unless logic and reality are officially of no consequence in Brussels, it inexplicable how that European Competition Chiefs can ever agree to the Government so comprehensively trashing parts of the renewable energy market, as they have vigorously done this year. I have been happily paying taxes to Europe all these years expecting them to oppose, rather than support market-damaging actions like this. Someone needs to intervene and give these monkeys a reality check – promptly.
“Right now the renewable heat industry needs a commitment from Government that formal renewable heat incentives will be no longer be neglected but implemented immediately to deliver a large increase in the use of renewable heat.”
The Solar PV Feed in Tariffs, because they are “state aid” were subject to a UK competition statement. The statement was accepted by the commissions despite clear non-delivery of “a large increase in renewable heat”. (paragraph 5 in its section entitled “Objectives”).
Unfortunately this “large increase in the use of renewable heat” is not being delivered. Instead the reverse is happening. The market for renewable heat is in fact being smashed up by the sudden quadrupling (or more) of the costs-benefits of, for example, solar electricity, under the Feed in Tariffs. The Solar Trade Association recently said that inquiries have fallen to a quarter of past levels.
– Perhaps readers would like to ask their MP for hard evidence of this large increase in renewable heat in 2010 since it appears that a large reduction is happening instead.
We see only a reduction in renewable heat delivery and it seems to us that the conditions for more balanced competition which were implied by the UK government are not being met.
– Perhaps readers would like to ask the UK government why a competition exemption should be permitted on the basis of this apparently false claim?
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