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DECC proposes to remove RHI support for solar thermal from 2017

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has proposed to remove solar thermal’s eligibility for subsidy support under the renewable heat incentive (RHI) from next year. DECC has been working on proposals to overhaul the RHI since chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement in November, during which he pledged additional funding for the mechanism.

The department has this afternoon given its first insight into what a future RHI could look like, and solar thermal stands to be removed from the mechanism from the 2017 delivery year onwards. DECC’s reasoning behind the proposed cuts is a combination of its status as the “least cost-effective” of the four eligible technologies and purported question marks over its additionality. DECC cited evidence from “around half” of applicants who said they would have installed the technology without the tariff.
Solar thermal installations currently receive a tariff of 19.51p/kWh and represent around 17% of total accreditations.

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