Yet again it is the lack of government awareness that is the focus of poor uptake rates in such areas as solar thermal a recent study* claims. The report which focused primarily on the renewable heat incentive state that given the amount of research they conducted it was mainly down to public lack of knowledge that the incentive even existed that has led to poor uptake rates.
Even with the government watchdogs proclaiming that gas prices are set to surge by a quarter in the coming years and with such avenues like The Green Deal and ECO schemes public awareness is still relatively low.
With domestic home owners set to be able to profit from the RHI scheme this coming year, the grant which will save considerable amounts on bills is still to large scale not public knowledge. Given the impending targets 2030 targets and the continue rises in domestic solar panels installed it’s perceived as a bad decision on the governments part not to capitalize on the growing trend in solar pv installs by enlightening the public further on the potential of solar thermal and all it has to offer.
The message needs also to be clearer from the government with property owners who did know about various incentives stating that they were confused as to what grant or subsidies applied to what technology. Also the respondents highlighted that more knowledge was needed regarding such products as solar thermal as presently the main focus is on solar panels and to the lesser extent led lighting. This report highlighted this point further with over three quarters unaware of what heat pumps and biomass systems actually were, how they operated and more worrinyingly that they were even eligible for such technologies domestically.
However the report did highlight the encouraging fact that sustainable heating was the fastest growing area in the sector. It is hoped the government can acknowledge these finding and support the industry further by creating greater awareness and clarity over the technology otherwise face the potential loss on EU renewable heating targets.
*report by Frost & Sullivan
Some previous related articles of interest:
EU set to change renewable energy sectors
What smart energy grids will do for the energy market long term<./a>
Reforms to EU targets to face objections from members