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STA Data Shows Market Rising

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Government statistics published today on the Renewable Heat Incentive have shown that in November and December of last year solar thermal hot water heating made up 12% of the residential systems and only 2% of non-domestic systems supported by the scheme.

Since the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive was introduced in April 2014 there have been only 2,000 accredited solar thermal schemes, representing less than a quarter of the solar thermal market in 2010. There has been widespread concern about the long delay introducing the domestic RHI and red tape inhibiting deployment.

However an ongoing Solar Trade Association survey of the solar thermal industry is showing an encouraging increase in solar thermal enquiries and sales in the new year.  The Government is currently reviewing the Renewable Heat Incentive and the STA is urging government to stick with the current program and communicate more broadly the value of solar thermal to help boost the market. The STA also wants the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme expanded to include space heating, which now an established technology in some EU countries.

Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Solar Trade Association commented:

“Despite solar thermal not having fared well over the past few years, there are good signs that public understanding of this technology and interest in the Renewable Heat Incentive is increasing. We are encouraged that solar thermal is already showing signs of significant recent growth.”

“The Government has rightly recognised the need to do much more to boost renewable heat in the UK. The Renewable Heat Incentive is the key driver for this, and the Government needs to do more to communicate this programme and remove red tape. It is taking some time for the market to develop but we are urging them to stick with the programme and work with industry to communicate the tremendous benefits of solar thermal.”

Solar thermal is a key technology for tackling fuel poverty, especially when it is deployed on high density social housing. Solar thermal can be an attractive technology for less able to pay households as it uses the sun as a free energy source to heat hot water. That hot water can then either be stored in a hot water tank or fed into an existing combi-boiler, thereby minimising the plumbing work required in installation.  Solar thermal can also be used for space heating which is now increasingly common across Europe.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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