Solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV-T) manufacturers are suffering from inconsistent legislation, according to UK-based PV-T manufacturer Natural Technology Developments (NTD).

Solar Power Portal revealed last month that PV-T systems would not be eligible to claim both the feed-in tariff and domestic renewable heat incentive when the scheme launches this Spring. However, as PV-T installations already qualify under the commercial RHI, NTD is unclear why the technology was excluded from the domestic RHI.

Paul Laidler, managing director of NTD, questioned the decision to exclude PV-T from the domestic RHI when he spoke to Solar Power Portal:

In a letter to NTD, Greg Barker, energy and climate change minister, explained why the technology was omitted from the domestic RHI. He said: “We consider PV-T to be a new technology that can potentially offer the benefits of dual generation of heat and electricity in a cost-effective way. Being a new technology, we need to ascertain whether, for the purposes of the domestic RHI, it meets our eligibility criteria…The responses we received to [the public consultation in September, 2012], together with low deployment levels to date, offered little evidence to satisfy us that PV-T currently meets those criteria. In particular, the need for a technology to be fully proven, commercially available and able to make a significant contribution to the deployment of renewable heat at cost effective levels at a domestic scale.”

In response, Jeremy Leggett, founder and chairman of Solarcentury, said: “This is yet another barrier erected by DECC for those trying to innovate in the green industrial revolution that Coalition ministers championed so enthusiastically while in opposition. What a contrast to the bend-over-backwards policy approach shale frackers and nuclear benefit from.”

The domestic RHI legislation is due to be discussed by committee before passing to the House of Lords, NTD hopes that it can take this final opportunity to raise its concerns over the omission of PV-T before the scheme is finalised.