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Low carbon programme closes early

The first stage of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) has been closed a month earlier than expected following the announcement of the Feed-in Tariff scheme

The programme, which provided grants worth a total of £131 million for microgeneration technology in houses across the country, was originally expected to stay open until the end of March this year.

It had already provided more than 14,500 grants for the manufacture, assembly, supply and installation of the technology.

When the Feed-in Tariff scheme was announced on February 1, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that no new applications for grants for electrical microgeneration would be accepted after 5pm on February 3.

The second phase of the programme, which targeted hospitals, schools and not-for-profit organisations, closed in December last year. The closure prompted solar PV manufacturers to complain about the Government’s hesitant approach to using renewable energy sources.

The DECC said the consultation on the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which was published ahead of its launch in April, made the expansion of the industry clearer.

However, the Renewable Energy Association said the only funding now available to the general public for renewable electricity would be the Feed-in Tariff scheme, following the closure of the LCBP.

Previous story (AJ 1.02.10)

Cash-back for solar homes

Homes and ‘community’ buildings with renewable energy plants will be able to claim cash back for any contribution they make to the national grid

The new government initiative will allow households with solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines (up to five megawatts) will be paid for the electricity they generate.

A 2.5kW solar photovoltaic plant could ‘earn’ households up to £900 and, in addition, reduce bills by £140 a year.

Householders and communities producing low carbon electricity will be able to apply for the ‘feed-in’ tariff from their energy suppliers from 1 April 2010.

A similar renewable heat incentive will begin in April 2011 with large heat producers being paid directly by Ofgem.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: ‘The guarantee of getting an income on top of saving on energy bills will be an incentive to householders and communities wanting to make the move to low carbon living.

‘It will also change the outlook for a range of industries, in particular those in the business of producing and installing small scale low carbon technology.’

Paul King, Chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said: ‘Today’s announcement will help make small scale renewables a more attractive and viable option, not just for householders, but for communities and businesses.

King added: ‘It will also help support an emerging green industry and generate high quality jobs’.

Tariff levels for different technologies:

The tariff levels for the electricity financial incentives (pence), calculated to offer between 5-8% return on initial investment in the technology are:

Tariff levels for electricity financial incentives

TechnologyScaleTariff level for new installations in period (p/kWh) [NB tariffs will be inflated annually]Tariff lifetime (years)
  Year 1: 1.04.10-31.03.11Year 2: 1.04.11-31.02.12Year 3: 1.04.12-31.03.12 
Anaerobic digestion≤500kW 11.5 11.5 11.5 20
Anaerobic digestion>500kW9.09.09.020
Hydro≤15 kW19.919.919.920
Hydro >15 - 100kW 17.817.8 17.820
Hydro >100kW - 2MW 11.0 11.0 11.020
Hydro >2kW - 5MW 4.5 4.5 4.520
MicroCHP pilot* ≤2 kW*10*10* 10* 10*
PV ≤4 kW (new build) 36.1 36.1 33.0 25
PV ≤4 kW (retrofit) 41.3 41.337.8 25
PV >4-10kW 36.1 36.1 33.0 25
PV >10 - 100kW31.4 31.4 28.7 25
PV >100kW - 5MW 29.3 29.3 26.8 25
PVStandalone system29.3 29.3 26.8 25
Wind ≤1.5kW 34.5 34.5 32.6 20
Wind >1.5 - 15kW 26.7 26.7 25.5 20
Wind >15 - 100kW 24.1 24.1 23.0 20
Wind >100 - 500kW 18.8 18.8 18.8 20
Wind >500kW - 1.5MW 9.4 9.4 9.4 20
Wind >1.5MW - 5MW 4.5 4.5 4.5 20
Existing microgenerators transferred from the RO 9.0 9.0 9.0 to 2027

 *NB This tariff is available only for 30,000 microCHP installations. A review will take place when 12,000 units have been installed.

Tariff levels for Renewable Heat Incentives

Technology

Scale

Tariffs (pence/kWh

Tariff lifetime (years)
Small installations
Solid biomassUp to 45kW915
BiodieselUp to 45kW6.515
Biogas on-site combustionUp to 45kW5.510
Ground source heat pumpsUp to 45kW723
Air source heat pumpsUp to 45kW7.518
Solar thermalUp to 20kW1820
Medium installations
Solid biomass45kW-500kW6.515
Biogas on-soite combustion45kW-200kW5.510
Ground source heat pumps45kW-350kW5.520
Air source heat pumps45kW-350kW220
Solar thermal20kW-100kW1720
Large installations
Solid biomass500kW and above1.6 -2.515
Ground source heat pumps350kW and above1.520
Biomethane injectionAll scales415

Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change

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