NIRO subsidy is closing a year earlier than expected due to decisions by DECC

LAST year didn’t end well for the renewable energy sector in Northern Ireland. The proposed early end for onshore wind subsidies remains mired in uncertainty; NIE announced a substantial delay in delivering grid connections; and the Paris Climate Agreement amounted to little more than some very vague promises.

It is so difficult to express the disappointment in the outcome of the Paris talks in a few sentences. After all the self-congratulation of the Paris Agreement adoption on December 11, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a turning point for UK climate change policy and perhaps an end to the accelerating subsidy cuts by the Tory government.


The Ulster Farmers Union has welcomed confirmation by the DETI minister, Jonathan Bell, that he will consult separately on the NIRO (Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation) closure for small scale wind turbines.  The UFU is now pressing for swift action by DETI on revised and improved proposals.

The UFU has been concerned that smaller projects, often awaiting grid connection confirmation, lost out when DETI proposed closing support for onshore wind.  Along with Simple Power it has sought a judicial review of the consultation process that extended this to smaller land-based schemes.

“We are pleased DETI is reconsidering its process and consultation.  We are however disappointed it has taken until now, a few weeks before the dissolution of the Assembly, to act – although we understand DETI hopes to issue the consultation before the end of March,” said UFU deputy president, Barclay Bell.  He said it was clear the cut-off date for qualifying projects of 30 September 2015 is not movable, since this was set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in London.

Latest News NIRO
Following the consultation on the proposed closure of the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation (NIRO) to new small scale onshore wind, the NIRO has now closed to onshore wind operators with a capacity of 5MW and under in Northern Ireland.

Further guidance regarding this closure will be issued shortly, until this time you can find some FAQs regarding the closure here.

Please note, operators of stations that meet certain criteria may be eligible for a grace period, meaning that they may be eligible to apply for accreditation up to 31 December 2018, depending on the grace period conditions they can meet. Please review FAQs for further information on this.

Source Ulster Farmers Union

Also see FAQ OFGEM


Energy Crops Scheme: How it works in Scotland

Short Rotation Coppice Crops of Willow or Poplar

What is this about?

This Option supports the establishment of short rotation coppice crops, through the planting of willow or poplar cuttings, to help deliver both economic and environment benefits.

What will this achieve?

The planting of new woodland, to be managed as short rotation coppice, will provide an Option for farm diversification that has the economic potential to take advantage of any emerging local woodfuel markets and renewable energy projects.

Creating a substantial source of local produce for woodfuel markets will encourage the movement of cost-effective processing closer to the rural timber resource and help to support associated local businesses.

In addition to the potential economic benefits provided by short rotation coppice, the establishment of this new woodland will contribute to carbon sequestration to support the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Programme.

What you can do?

Plant and establish tree crops of willow or poplar, to be subsequently managed as short rotation coppice on a 2 to 5-year cropping cycle.

Who can apply?

Owners or occupiers of agricultural land.

Eligibility criteria

The minimum eligible block of tree planting is 2 hectares.

At least 10,000 willow or poplar cuttings per hectare must be established and maintained for a period of at least 5 years.

Proposals must demonstrate that they have established an end use for the produce, e.g. evidence of a supply contract, and that the produce will be used to develop a fuel supply for renewable energy products.

Energy Crops Scheme participants can seek a fully funded biomass boiler from Mercantile Investors
Energy Crops Scheme participants can seek a fully funded biomass boiler from Mercantile Investors

All tree planting proposals must comply with the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard.

If your proposals falls above certain minimum-size thresholds and are likely to have a significant effect on the environment, an application for consent under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry)(Scotland) Regulations 1999 may be required.

We will consult local authorities and other statutory organisations about your proposals. We will take their views into account before approving your proposals.

What should you mark on your map(s)

The boundary of the planting area must be accurately drawn on a 1:10000 map and submitted with the proposals

For advice on how to mark up your Short Rotation Coppice Map please refer to the RDC-RP Mapping Guidance

What costs will be supported?

We will provide a contribution to the total costs incurred in establishing the trees as short rotation coppice.

To ensure value for money we require you to provide 2 competitive quotes for any capital items applied for which are based on actual cost. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards something so specialised it is only available through 1 source then we would accept 1 quote. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Rate of support

The payment rate will be at 40% (50% in Less Favoured Areas) of the actual costs, including the cost of fencing, up to a maximum payment of of £1000 per hectare, based on receipted invoices.

The planting will be subject to inspection once we receive your claim for payment. We will inspect the work to ensure that it accords with the eligibility criteria.

List of links to relevant technical guidance:

The UK Forestry Standard –$FILE/fcfc001.pdf

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry)(Scotland) Regulations 1999


Non resident companies outsource renewable energy and energy conservation with Ecobods

A fresh  opening in the UK & Ireland for Renewable Energy Companies


Dear Energy Conservation Entrepreneur,

We wish to serve those with market leading products/ services or niche market challengers who want to enter the UK & Ireland market place.

By working with a team that launched two world leaders into the UK Ecobods was formed for a 2013 launch to help new entrants into the renewables sector in the UK & Ireland since the zero carbon building from 2016 identified the UK as a hot market for non-resident companies.

Ecobods save the need for both premises or staff that will allow fast cost-effective sales in the UK & Ireland  and also provides prompt, personal service when arranging renewable energy products to installers or regional distributors.
Its independent research found that almost half of wholesale customers in the UK were dissatisfied with the service they were receiving from their suppliers and 89pc did
not feel that the marketing support they were receiving on such accounts was competitive.

Apart from just being an agent we can actually hold your stock for you and distribute from our warehouse and by Spring 2013 a non-resident or resident company will be able to demonstrate goods at our Energy Conservation Centre on the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire borders, which is expected to create new businesses and jobs nationwide after the construction phase.

we are people who introduce people who want to sell things to people who want to buy things
By focusing on the success of your client, who we believe are local companies, involved with energy saving product sales and installation,
We train them to lead the market on a regional basis and with our UK based support, we are helping others to be successful and eventually, you and we will gain larger market share.

Whilst Global Warming is more important than our Global Financial Collapse we understand that this slows down global growth.
Our manufacturers agency can carry your card and launch your green or fairtrade products.

we sell nothing, you pay nothing
The challenge we overcome is barrier of cost of entry to the United Kingdom and Ireland marketplaces. We may save you almost $40,000 USD a month in running costs of a UK and Ireland sales business.
  • We supply native English speaking staff
  • Telephone options include answering in your company name (small cost),or as Ecobods
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as your customer service/order-line.
  • Offices across the country
  • Nationwide sales-force
  • No setup fees unless arranging launch for new entrant
  • We collect small orders, take payments arrange delivery and pay you.
You may currently collect some orders over the Internet but this could be the tip of the iceberg
  • No fixed costs, we sell nothing, you pay nothing,
  • No travel expenses
  • A profit margin equal to a commission is the only payment we ask for
  • We invoice each individual customer they pay Ecobods when an invoice is due we pay you, we handle local currency exchange and make payment in your currency of choice.

To find out more

we are ready and waiting, we know we can help you!
0845 056 9325

We only work with the best of the best and if your product matches our due diligence you can outsource your work to increase your market share and free time for more important commitments.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Kindest regards

R_Williams_Signature 2

Richard Williams

Direct dial:01886 880088
Mobile: 07711 882588
We work hard so you won’t have to

Manufacturers & Marketing Agents
Energy Conservation Centre
Wells Farm 
Tanhouse Lane
WR13 5JX

Renewable energy finance could dramatically make you stand out from your competition

We promote and run installer, education and awareness campaigns for commercial and agricultural energy finance.

Drive sales with asset finance and leasing

• Our aim is to increase the installation rates of commercial renewable systems through dealer recruitment.
• We finance large  scale clean technology  installations  such as solar, wind, geothermal,  energy efficiency,  green transportation   and advanced biofuels..
• We apply a long-term approach to providing energy financial services.
• Our focus is the supply of all or part of an organisations independent heat & power generation through creative financing.
Get an overview of how it works and book a place on one the workshops to run in Birmingham or London during August and September.
Meet our guest speaker from the USA who will show you how he made £10M in sales in one year from a standing start by introducing fianance to renewable energy
Learn about our people, culture and our commitment to diversity. Learn about our Business Standards.

Cost £45 + VAT in West Midlands or London

How to dramatically stand out from your competition….with renewable energy finance

Dear Solarpreneur,

Did you ever wonder what it might feel like to not be me-too?  What if you could imagine standing out from the competition in a way that customers choose you over everyone else?
And what if we could raise our prices, and they still kept coming?

That’s what uniqueness can do to our business and most of us know a product that makes us better than our competition.

But the customer doesn’t know,  they go elsewhere, somewhere cheaper, dare I say cra*pie* , we ask why don’t they beat a path to your door and in the flock you’ve imagined.


The next few weeks will be crucial to many involved in Solar PV as pundits forecast sales could crash in August and we all know government are being tough on the renewables sector and we know this is simply because DECC have no money to give away. Why are we hoping for government subsidies when our future could be great just as it is today or even with reduced FiT next year?

What we might do is change our focus from residential Solar PV or Heat Pumps. Could we seek other renewable energy products to go along with our traditional offering and go back to basics of business.
The quality of goods you install or the extra services you deliver or offer will create a longer lasting impression on your clients or customers than simply eroding margins and selling cheap products.

At we have recently been hanging around airports, staying in some nice & some awful hotels around the globe,  looking to help members arrange services and products that may define your future growth and we must focus on long-term growth. The bitterness of poor quality will remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

Then it all clicked into (having dinner at Munich Airport) place! Money is the issue so we needed to strike “where” the iron is hot. Literally businesses, social landlords and farmers all need a finance plan to fund renewable energy. When I explored this market it seems a handful of  financiers or investors existed but they seemed to want RHI or FiT or whatever aspects of other daft grant acronym might pop next.


Now we can source finance and quickly get to market with volume sales to new target businesses or farmers seeking heat & power and over the last few weeks at we have been working on unique products and services to grow member businesses as we are planning for this more sustainable upturn.

This newsletter is a preliminary announcement for renewable energy finance that allows the borrower to keep RHI and FiT to help offset the finance or leasing of the equipment needful to independently generate power and even better the clients will win by using all the energy they generate within their businesses or on their farms.

For those companies without cash-flow we can fund the equipment with a Power Purchase Agreement that means they get green energy at a price about 10% less than they currently pay and with agreed increases in line with the Retail Price Index and not the general 10 or 12% increases much of our fossil driven energy over the last few years.

Some Public Sector or other organisations prefer OBS (off balance sheet) funding without showing any associated liability on the balance sheet and we can rent equipment in these situations.
As installers we are powerful but as a group harnessing the power of leading installers we become UK business leaders with a collective presence, we take the initiative, demand the attention and support we need to deliver the goods and take market share in our selected areas. is here to lend its support – to both the industry and to us all as individual business operators. Check  regularly as once fully launched it will be a base of regular intelligence for the renewables industry or follow our blog and offer ideas, products and resources that will help you plan your way to a brighter future.

We offer the opportunity for lo carbon, energy conservation and renewable energy businesses to join together as will help with consumers search as a trusted hallmark which guarantees a charter for total peace of mind and customer satisfaction when a consumer chooses a member installer. This symbol of trusted installers might become a buying super power as combine buying resources to gain bulk buying power . also has PR as well as a marketing resource which examines the UK’s potential to compete in the renewables arena, by marketing ourselves as a combined force a finance company has launched heard what we say and have launched a complete financing solution (subject to status) for commercial renewable energy assets. We can also arrange investors to buy Solar Farms without long drawn out brokerage chains.

The range of services you can offer:
• Power Purchase Agreement, we arrange the installation for district housing or business heat & power and sell the energy back to the occupier  at a beneficial price for a fixed period.
• Lease larger scale solar, wind, geothermal, CHP and biomass installations.
• Asset finance over a typical term of 84 months for businesses, farms and Public sector green heat & power.
• Outright purchase means you can sell your PV, wind or other large renewable system easily and (without middlemen) conveniently.

By assisting companies in procuring the financing they need to move to alternatives to more traditional energy sources we seek installers who would like to enter the commercial market or enhance their existing know-how by taking on a new funding partner.

We will arrange a training day to help you discover how to offset interest (without lenders keeping the subsidy) with borrowers keeping subsidies such as RHI or FiT. We will give you a 90 day game plan to be sitting in front of large businesses seeking £100,000+ installations. We help you source the equipment through our buyers group and gain funding from our financiers
Simply email me for more details on the training

With a low carbon push for farms, businesses and Public sector we still predict a high growth market and we will be opening a door to financing for those looking to use  proven  technologies
for heat or electricity for use in public, commercial and agricultural applications. Together we can help fund critical   products for a low-carbon  future by helping raise
capital for the public and private sectors  seeking to finance large scale clean technology  installations such as solar, wind, geothermal, energy efficiency,  green transportation
and advanced biofuels.

As SolarPrenurs we’re sure you won’t be falling at the false altar of price over quality and financing bigger installations will set the difference between those in business for the long-haul and those with no ability but to cut each others throat by declining profits until they are forced out of business.

We are inviting you to join a closed door meeting with our funding partner from North America and we’ll be showing you a plan to make an extra £10million in sales over the next 12 months.
We travel the world searching for unique products that are truly world class and will give you the edge over your competitor and this is part of the jigsaw you will not want to miss.

The training does come at a small cost to keep the workshop focused and keep the free sandwich brigade away. Cost £45 (we’ll keep you fed and watered) excluding VAT.

Whether you are a top commercial installer or a high quality domestic installer seeking business expansion we invite you to register with us as we bring the senior managers and directors of renewable energy finance to the table.

Many of the great advancements that have been made with higher subsidies could be utillised by industry and we will show you how to present the facts, supply the product and get the finance application complete.

If this is deemed appropriate as a route to business expansion, take advantage of pre-booking your training and call 0845 055 8203 to get a seat amongst our group of vetted installers in the more sustainable commercial green energy business

To understand why climate crisis is a job for the sales people not government and not scientists you will need to get booked fast and meetings will be taking place throughout August and September.
Take heart, Solarpreneurs. We have a bright future ahead and tough times only shake the loose apples off of the tree. Hang on!

UK PV Buyers are getting the message that returns are as good as ever and the feed-in tariff is finally stable

The feedback following a visit to Intersolar is the future for Solar PV is on a more promising basis and the outlook for the next couple years is bright.
We expect Installers are refining their pitch for industry as commercial renewable energy will see tremendous growth, the fuel poverty prevention incentives have created a growth market for Social Landlords and domestic will see growth following a slump after 1 August.

Richard Williams pictured seeking the very best products for members of a symbol group of the premier UK & Ireland renewable energy installers.

This is the time to learn about commercial power generation, establish industrial users who can use what they produce and work in partnership with other renewable energy providers.
As mature Solar PV, Heat Pump & Solar Thermal installers it could be the time to look overseas for new business. With India opening the largest Solar Farm ever it will make this continent look for expertise in a whole host of renewable energy products and the best installers. You might be pleased to learn that UK high quality engineers will be welcomed into overseas territories and it might be worth talking to your local UKTI  expert.

Whilst in Munich I gather the man whose single handed claim to fame is ruining the whole Solar PV industry has been acting with arrogance on BBC Radio 4, rather than supporting independent  installers or quality specialists he insisted every little helps, we should retail 4KW under £7,000 or suggested we all spend about £6,000 from some behemoth of retailer.

These prices quoted on BBC Radio 4 are not sustainable as they are based on a China dumping stock that could be described as illegal or some have argued possibly even unethical but Solar PV installations are at least now stable and should continue to rise. We are seeking sales to get to a steady rate of 21MWp per week in order to achieve Government’s expected annual deployment of 900-1,000MWp.

Boom & bust

We all cringed at the speech made 27 October in Birmingham’s ICC, with Greg Barker’s keynote speech which we will remember as  “end of boom and bust” and then we saw exactly that.
Now we should have a consistent market as we will be made aware of any impending cuts two months before they are implemented and market data  will allow companies to accurately predict tariff rates moving forward.

Present market
The latest solar installation figures appear to show that the UK solar market is finally stabilising. After weeks of concern surrounding a significant dip in demand the numbers released last week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) seem to show that the market may be starting to get back on track.

If you wished to go to the link above, download the Excel spreadsheets you might note a boom in the run up to the March 3 with that weeks installations hitting a handsome  total of 9,049 installations being registered as property owners had an urge to buy Solar PV before FiT changes went through. The week after our sales took a roller-coaster type nose dive as we saw installations drop by  90 percent to just under 900 installs . Since then it was very rocky and I’m delighted to report, install rates have slowly climbed back to between 1,600-2,000 installs per week.


We still predict a high growth market for Solar Thermal, PV, Solar and will be inviting manufacturers to meet UK installers/regional distributors.
Our criteria is not based on price but makers of the best of the best in renewable energy products will be brought to the UK to meet with the movers & shakers in renewable energy installations and wholesale distribution.

We are expecting the worlds largest geothermal heat pump manufacturer, Climate Master’s international sales director Mr Roger Thompson to visit from the USA late July/early August, later in August we will see Netbods (specialists in launching renewable energy manufacturers) bringing a new solar panel to market, not just another PV or Thermal panel but one that does both very well and in the short-term we are bringing Solar PV CEO of alfasolar, Mr Martin Denz. You might yawn at the very idea of yet another entrant but this is very highest performance, this module is being launched following side by side trials for 9 months on top of the TUV Rheinland building, it is number 1 and they placed their Pyramid Poly against other top brands of Mono,

Look out for our marketing agency Netbods who will be setting appointments throughout the next few months as we keep saying when the going gets tough the tough get going, we have to find better products than our competitor and buy smarter.

To make a difference we need to be different so spend our time seeking a product with a USP to boost margins, if you follow trends of the leaders in home improvements, you might spot that success leaves clues, offering a product with a higher yield, EU made, constructed in a factory that is powered by renewable energy and many other features are our future route to market share gain.

Get ahead of the other guy
Selling low end ‘copycat’ specification Solar PV will create lower margins, we need to take a sample of a high quality module,ignore the never run a business politic ans to sell higher levels of performance, deliver better after sales service and increase profit margins.

Some installers will be amazed, some installers will think selling quality is a ludicrous concept, other installers believe we are all creatures that buy on price, a small band of installers will keep a best price entry level Solar PV product, a branded household name and something from a niche Solar PV manufacturer with  a 33% higher margin.

The other sectors in the pioneering stages of direct sales of home improvements saw a huge churn with 9 out of 10 installers closing within 4 years, those companies who survived with many decades of growth share a secret, better products, higher margins, more comprehensive presentation skills and best service. The sectors to which I refer is double glazing or kitchens with the market leaders selling quality at higher prices we see household names win as 90% of others fail and leave the consumer without direct protection.

Have faith to offer your consumer a better product at a higher price, maybe lot’s will say no but some will say yes to your high quality/higher prices and you can spend this extra money on marketing to create a huge amount of advertising. Tiny newspaper adverts are a waste of money but start buying full pages and see the results!

The home improvement sector has seen this all before when smaller installers without sales ability used to sell based on price before quality and they all went bust. The Yellow Pages used to be full of little companies who could not survive as distressed marketing is never the answer.

Options in Solar PV are huge.

We travel the world searching for unique products that are truly world class and will give you the edge over your competitor. You are probably aware of a number of key issues when looking at the really ethical performance of Solar PV panel manufacturers. We need to learn about what we sell and not just brochure speak (bs).

Our duty is learning how our supplier will deal with handling of toxic chemicals during manufacture and disposal of such dangerous articles, product sustainability (carbon footprint and energy payback time), do the workers’ have right’s, Health & Safety, transparent supply chains, child labour, excessive overtime and overtime pay below legal minimum, huge working hours, marital and sick leave.

Does the country force PV manufacturers allow maternity leave, pregnancy, marital status and policy on disability discrimination.
At home we take a minimum wage or national insurance as normal but some of our products come from a country with a policy that does not even allow the choice of keeping unlimited baby girls alive never mind policing a company’s involvement in any controversial activities.  Human rights abuses in China might be something that some educated buyers would rather avoid and perhaps pay more for an EU offering.

The Ethical Investor
Insider knowledge on manufacturers of Solar PV modules.

We should be proud of supplying great clean energy as a career choice but need to be aware of what we peddle, some Asian products are great and some EU companies need to be examined.
If pressed by an ethical investor you might like to have a few facts from Ethical Consumer about our modules.

Schott is owned by the German company Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung. A subsidiary, Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH, provided the following military/armaments products: missile guidance, reconnaissance cameras, and sensors and masts. According to the Schott website, searched on 8 July 2010, the company also provided core services to the nuclear industry.

Kyocera, Sharp and Panasonic/Sanyo all use coltan (tantalum) in some part of their businesses.This mineral was said to fuel conflict, including mass rape, in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Mitsubishi Electric has supplied various products to the military including: missile systems, communication equipment, radars, satellites, computers.

Romag supplies the Israeli Defense Force and the Singapore Army.

Panasonic Corporation formerly known as Matsushita Electric took over 51% of Sanyo Electric in 2009. There have been reports of pollution incidents at a Sanyo Video facility in Tijuana, Mexico and elsewhere.(4) Also contributing to Sanyo’s score is a criticism for failing to speak out about human rights abuses in China whilst being a sponsor of the Olympics that took place there.

PV panels involve the same manufacturing processes as other electronics products and, as such, are complex and potentially damaging. For example, Chinese company Luoyang Zhonggui High Technology, which makes polysilicon for solar panels, was discovered dumping highly toxic waste onto land just outside its factory in 2008.(1) The company was reported to be a supplier of Suntech

Fortunately the excellent US campaign group Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition has become involved. It produced a detailed report in 2009 called ‘Towards a Just and Sustainable Solar Industry’ which shares an enthusiasm for the key role the technology will play in de-carbonising global energy systems, with a profound desire to make manufacturers fully accountable for their social and environmental impacts. A spin-off of the report is a new website which plans an annual rating of solar manufacturers against key issues including: recycling, supply chain monitoring, chemical use and disclosure.

Read the full article  and see the scorecard

To find out why alfasolar are headimg to the UK with new Solar products designed to out-perform the competition, discover how alfasolar can allow installers to compete with higher profits, marvellous prices, best in market quality all you need to do is email a reply to with your name as well as company details and we can send out the data sheets.

This offer is strictly limited to regions across the UK and really is only of use to companies who realise deep discounting is the path to bankruptcy.
Many of the great advancements that have been made with higher subsidies could be lost unless we work together and pass on our savings to the end user of which the smart and savvy will see you have the better offering.

We will be pleased to meet with you, show you specialist products in both Solar & Heat Pumps or discuss a private label solar product and explain Solar Thermal to those considering this as a route to business expansion

To take advantage of collective ordering call             0845 055 8203      , join our group of vetted installers, gain FREE leads from discerning buyers and for a limited period the £499 joining fee is waived to absolutely no cost or any commitment needed to buy

Take heart, Solarpreneurs. We have a bright future ahead and tough times only shake the loose apples off of the tree. Hang on!