The government has recently dropped plans to remove solar thermal from the Renewable Heat Incentive, following a campaign by the Solar Trade Association. AES welcome this news as Scotland’s only manufacturer of solar thermal panels and have no doubt that our business will continue to expand.
The Solar Industry
George Goudsmit, managing director explained what this meant for the industry: “This is fantastic news and the Solar Trade Association and all those that have been campaigned following the announcement in March should be very proud of themselves and celebrating.”
“The renewable industry, particularly solar has taken some knocks over the last year, but this announcement can only mean good things.”
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government scheme which offers financial incentives for those who take up the use of renewable technologies.
The domestic RHI was launched in 2014 and provides financial support to the owner of the renewable heating system for seven years, however in March it came under scrutiny and the fear was the incentive would be axed altogether.
George who employs 10 people including three modern apprentices said that for AES Solar this is good news: “This will no doubt lead to a demand in solar thermal, not just from domestic customers but also from other installers who use our products. This can only mean expansion for us in terms of staff and potentially our premises too.”
“For our customers, it means that solar thermal is now on a level playing field with other renewable options. Consumers can now have the confidence to invest in solar thermal saving them money and energy in the long run and reducing their carbon footprint. An average four person home could reduce their energy bill by at least 10%.”
George added: “The possible removal of the RHI has been looming over us for the last nine months, but now we, as the only manufacturer of solar thermal panels in Scotland, can breathe a sigh of relief. We feared it was going to be removed completely which meant it would have been a harder sell and would have made it very difficult for the Scottish government to reach its 2020 targets.
“We don’t know why the government has decided to save the RHI, the campaigning has certainly helped, but we also believe that maybe the emphasis placed on electric vehicles and renewable heat by the Scottish government may have put Westminster under pressure.”
Paul Barwell, STA Chief Executive commented: “Solar thermal is back, which is great news for businesses and families who want to bring down their energy bills and do their bit to mitigate climate change. It is to the new Energy Department’s credit that they listened to the very strong arguments we made for retaining solar thermal within the RHI.”