Government's RHI plans will hamper progress, experts claim

THE Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) timetable of milestones for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will hamper delivery of the Government’s promises, experts have said.

The timetable, announced earlier this week, says the Government will consult on extending support to new technologies in the non-domestic sector in September 2012, with changes taking effect in summer 2013.

Alongside the timetable of milestones, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a consultation on interim cost controlmeasures, which showed uptake of the scheme remains well below budget.

Liberal Democrat peer and chair of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, Lord Redesdale, said: “The timetable for the RHI announced by DECC this week is deeply disappointing, and risks breaking the Government’s commitments on renewable energy, including their promise to support a ‘huge increase in energy from waste’ through anaerobic digestion.

“For example, support for heat use from biogas combustion is limited to 200kWth, which means many AD projects are unable to make full use of the heat they produce. When DECC brought that limit in they said it was temporary - so to hear that it may stay until summer 2013 is a source of huge frustration.”

Myriad CEG, the UK’s largest supplier and installer of renewable energy equipment, said that if the proposal goes ahead it would put at risk all the good work that has been done so far in getting the RHI off the ground.

Steve Roberts, director of Econic Renewable Energy Solutions, Myriad’s specialist ground source heat pump arm, said: “It seems bizarre for the DECC to announce an emergency measure to suspend the RHI on the basis that the budget is at risk of being over spent, when and at the current rate of applications this is very unlikely to happen.

“All this will do is discourage already nervous clients from making a commitment to renewable heating systems.”

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