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RHIs set to bring long-term gains

Krystyna Dawson, Senior Manager Heating Projects and Tom Garrigan, Senior Test Engineer, at BSRIA assess the recent RHI announcement

Incentive programmes have prompted dynamic growth and uptake of renewable technologies in many European countries, particularly in France where heat pumps were extremely well supported in 2008 and while often installed as replacements for domestic boilers achieved sales of 130,000 units in a year.

In terms of sales value the figure was higher than for the French traditional boiler market and in terms of sales volume almost nine times bigger than the UK heat pump market.

The long awaited announcement about the launch of Renewable Heat Incentives (RHIs) has been finally made at the end of March this year.

Against the expectation of the industry it postpones regular payments to residential end user until October 2012. Moreover, currently only ground/water to water heat pumps are included in the scheme, which is available for commercial applications and it is not clear if air to water heat pumps will be included in the scheme in the future.

In order to qualify for RHIs, products with a capacity up to 45 kW must meet the requirements of the MCS scheme or equivalent EN 45011 accredited schemes.

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