Does MCS Hold Back Renewables?
Does MCS restrict the uptake of renewables?, in my opinion, yes it does.
Let me explain my reasons for thinking this, MCS is very expensive and bureaucratic to join, the whole thing was set up by civil servants who love to create paperwork for the sake of paperwork, it’s what they do, but for sole traders and SME’s the cost, bureaucracy and the minefield of endless paperwork and insurances, means the majority of sole traders and SME’s stay away, as it is not financially viable to join for what will be a very small part of their business, if the UK Government are serious about the 2050 deadline for zero net carbon emissions, the scheme has to change, otherwise there will never be enough installers to install the required products to acheive this goal.
I was heavily involved with thermal solar back in around 2005 and as an installer I joined the Clear Skies Scheme, this was the then equivalent to MCS, as grants were available, the scheme was free to join and many installers joined the scheme, it covered Thermal Solar, PV, Heat Pumps and Biomass and under this scheme interest was raised in renewables, not just from the public but from installers, then things changed, the Government shifted its attention away from most other renewables and put priority and the highest grants onto PV, this then saw a decline in a then thriving thermal solar market, then we had the MCS, this further degraded the market as installers faced with the burden, both financially and paperwork decided to drop their involvement in renewables and I do not believe we have ever recovered, I think the point was hit on the head by a contributor on Social Media when he said, MCS was NEVER designed with the small business in mind, its for the large companies who have the staff who can handle the endless stream of paperwork required for MCS.
I was fortunate to be working for a thermal solar company that was international, I was trained in Germany and Switzerland and I went to places like, Hassi Massoud Algeria, Amman Jordan, Faro Portugal and Santiago Chile, in these countries I trained installers how to install thermal solar and worked on the systems myself, all in all I gained huge knowledge and experience in the thermal solar market, however I have not used this knowledge in may years, I did join MCS for one year, but found the whole process to much of a burden and too expensive for my business for the amount of renewable work I was getting, it was simply not worth it, so my knowledge has been wasted.
So even though the Government have announced the 2050 target of zero net Carbon emissions, there is simply not enough trained installers to achieve it and there wont be unless the scheme is changed, we need something more along the lines of Gas Safe, a sensible annual fee and no pointless burdensome paperwork, we need good quality training courses and we also need some clarity on how this target will be achieved, as currently there is no plan, heat pumps are mentioned, so is biomass but also Hydrogen, so how on earth are installers supposed to plan when we have no idea of the policy route this target will take us, we need sensible joined up thinking and a plan of action and MCS needs to change, otherwise like most Government schemes it will fail, I don’t want it to fail as I see good business opportunities here, but unless things change, nothing will be achieved.