Dimplex has expressed concern over the sudden closure of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme following the new coalition government’s withdrawal of grant funding for renewables projects as part of its plan to make immediate spending cuts of £6 billion.
The scheme has been key to developing the UK’s fledgling renewables industry by creating demand for sustainable technologies such as heat pumps. It is feared the sudden cancellation of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 will lead to market paralysis and ultimately to job losses in a sector which is widely viewed to be instrumental in reaching the UK’s demanding carbon emission reduction targets.
Chris Davis, Business Development Director for renewables at Dimplex, said: “The timing of this announcement will really put the brakes on the growth of renewables in the UK. We have been seeing momentum in the market, with increase in customer demand and expansion in the installer base, but without clear government support, the future is looking very uncertain. There is a real danger now that the government may miss its target of 15% renewable energy by 2020, as renewable heat will need to contribute a significant proportion of this.
“Although the new feed-in tariffs now support electrical microgeneration, the end of the LCBP creates a critical funding gap for renewable heat. We are especially concerned that this move calls into question the government’s support for next year’s proposed Renewable Heat Incentive, and call on the new coalition to clarify its position on the RHI to give confidence to the market.”
The LCBP scheme was closed to applications on Monday 24 May 2010, and although projects which have already applied for funding will be considered, no new applications can now be made.