Speaking at the MPC’s christmas reception on December 17, Sowden made four requests to the minister in order to improve the outlook for the renewables industry in 2013 and deliver policy vital in increasing microgeneration throughout the UK.
Having paid tribute to Barker’s pledge that microgeneration would play a key role in the long term strategy to decarbonise heating and electricity, he said that more was required from the minister in order to turn this goal into a reality.
“We say stick to your vision. But please restore some certainty by reinforcing your welcome general vision of a decentralised energy future with tangible commitments against which we can have confidence to invest,” he said.
“We share your future vision for our sector and the policies you have to bring it about. If you can bring some greater tangibility to it, then this partnership will work effectively for consumers, the industry and government alike.
“On your part, we have four specific requests.”
1) A commitment by the end of the decade to raise heating performance standards beyond boiler technology alone. This could be achieved, for instance, by regulating that boilers should be combined with a renewable technology such as solar thermal.
2) To press ahead with this summer’s scheduled launch of the domestic RHI and to fix market distortions which currently exist in the non-domestic scheme e.g the exclusion of air to water heat pumps.
3) To press ahead with his ambition to install 22GW of PV by 2020 which can be achieved by ensuring that tariffs do not degress any further than cost reductions in solar technology.
4) Ensure that the Communities and Local Government Department does not water down the zero carbon homes policy