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Is renewable heat incentive the future?

Abu-Bakar, Siti Hawa; Muhammad-Sukki, Firdaus; Ramirez-Iniguez, Roberto; Mallick, Tapas Kumar; McLennan, Campbell; Munir, Abu Bakar; Yasin, Siti Hajar Mohd; Rahimh, Ruzairi Abdul


Siti Hawa Abu-Bakar

Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki

Roberto Ramirez-Iniguez

Tapas Kumar Mallick

Campbell McLennan

Abu Bakar Munir

Siti Hajar Mohd Yasin

Ruzairi Abdul Rahimh


This paper focuses on the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme in the United Kingdom (UK); and in particular, on its implications in relation to solar thermal systems (STSs). First, a short review on the UK's energy demand is provided. Then, an overview of the past and present activities related to STS installations is discussed, covering regulation, policies and programmes, research and development expenditures and implementations. A financial analysis is presented afterwards, analysing the RHI scheme, in terms of total profit, payback period and average annual return on investment. This is based on installations of different sizes and at various levels of solar insolation. The analysis also presents the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions that could be achieved by installing an STS. From the financial analysis it is found that the RHI scheme could generate a good total profit, a high average annual return on the investment and an 'acceptable' payback period, depending on locations. As a result, it could increase the penetration of solar thermal systems in the UK. Significant reductions of carbon dioxide emission can also be achieved by installing an STS on a building.


ABU-BAKAR, S.H., MUHAMMAD-SUKKI, F., RAMIREZ-INIGUEZ, R., MALLICK, T.K., MCLENNAN, C., MUNIR, A.B., YASIN, S.H.M. and RAHIM, R.A. 2013. Is renewable heat incentive the future? Renewable and sustainable energy reviews [online], 26, pages 365-378. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 20, 2013
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2013
Publication Date Oct 31, 2013
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 16, 2016
Journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Print ISSN 1364-0321
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Pages 365-378
Keywords Solar energy; Solar thermal system; Renewable heat incentive
Public URL


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