World First–British Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Heat
Solar DHW Tariff Scheduled for Fall 2012
December 4, 2011
By Paul Gipe
Two innovative feed-in tariff programs launched last week. Malaysia methodically stepped into the fray of developing countries moving aggressively toward renewable energy. Meanwhile, despite the Eurozone’s debt crisis, strikes, and turmoil in its FIT program for electricity, Britain quietly launched a groundbreaking program to pay feed-in tariffs for renewable heat.
Regardless of uncertainty in world financial markets, the launch of these long-planned, long-discussed programs indicates that the march toward more countries using feed-in tariffs to develop renewable energy continues undiminished.
The British program, dubbed the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), for non-domestic generators opened for applications on Monday November 28, 2011. Malaysia opened their electronic doors to applications December 1, 2011. Both programs expected a flood of applications.
For the first time, a program will pay for the heat generated by solar panels. Britain’s RHI will pay £0.085/kWh ($0.13/kWh) for metered heat from solar thermal systems up to 200 kW in size. The program will also pay £0.043/kWh (~$0.07/kWh) for heat from ground-source heat pumps less than 100 kW in size, and £0.03/kWh (~$0.05/kWh) for heat pumps greater than 100 kW.
The original program proposed to pay £0.18/kWh ($0.28/kWh) for heat from residential-scale solar domestic hot water systems. Implementation of the residential heat program has been delayed to October 2012.
Malaysia’s Advanced Renewable Tariffs
Unlike some developed countries, Malaysia launched a full-featured program of Advanced Renewable Tariffs from the start. The tariff schedule is fully differentiated by technology and size, and includes bonus payments for locally manufactured products.
The ambitious program expects to develop more than 3,000 MW of new renewables by 2020, of which more than one-third will be from solar photovoltaics alone. Biomass will contribute another one-third.