BRE - Making the most of renewable energy systems

Organization: BRE
Publication Date: 1 July 2014
Page Count: 12


Since April 2010 long term financial incentives for the generation of electricity from renewable sources have been available through the FITs scheme. Similar incentives for the small scale generation of renewable heat are also now available through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). These schemes are expected to increase considerably the uptake of small scale renewable energy systems.

However, incorrectly specified or installed renewable energy systems may not only introduce significant safety, performance and financial issues but, because of the dissatisfaction and bad publicity that often arises, may also undermine confidence and adversely affect the uptake of such systems. Hence third party certification, eg by BRE Global, under the MCS scheme is a requirement for the majority of installations seeking incentives from either FITs or RHI.

The purpose of this Digest is to highlight and describe some of the most common safety, performance and reliability issues which should be considered and addressed in order for small scale renewable energy systems to perform as they were intended. Other considerations, including the eligibility criteria for financial incentives are also outlined.

Five renewable technologies are covered in this Digest:

  • photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • solar thermal collectors
  • heat pumps
  • biomass
  • small and micro wind turbines.