Typical domestic solar thermal installation
Solar Thermal water heating systems use energy from the sun to heat water. This can be for use in the home or for larger applications such as swimming pools.
STHW also has many non-domestic applications.
Can Solar Thermal Water Heating systems work in the UK? Yes! Far more solar energy falls on the UK than most people realise.
Each year, every square metre of the British Isles receives 60% of the solar radiation found at the Equator. Solar panels do not require direct sunshine to work, but use radiated light. For example the South East enjoys the most sunshine in the UK.
The Renewable Heat Incentive
Tariffs and payments
Solar Thermal and the Renewable Heat Incentive, of which the domestic phase went live in April 2014, has been designed as a means to increase all UK heating generation from renewable energy sources. It will operates in a similar way to the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) as both schemes offer a payment for every kilowatt hour (KW/h) of renewable energy a system produces.
On 11 July 2013 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed that solar water heating will benefit from a minimum tariff rate of 19.2p/kWh. This rate now sits at 19.51p/kWh for solar thermal applications submitted before January 2016. The Renewable Heat Incentive also applies to other renewable heat systems such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
Key aspects of the Renewable Heat Incentive
1. The scheme supports a range of technologies, including solar thermal, ground-source heat pumps and biomass.
2. It will support heating at all scales, including households, businesses, offices, public sector buildings and industrial processes in large factories.
3. The payment you receive will be based on the amount of heat your system produces. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the tariff levels are designed to bridge the financial gap between the cost of conventional and renewable heat systems at all scales
Benefits of solar thermal:
- Generate your own hot water
- Reduce household running costs
- Reduce you carbon footprint
- Safeguard against future energy cost rises