• REA says that Government have listened to industry and taken a pragmatic approach to the closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI);
• Move to enable biomethane projects to utilise both the RHI and Renewable transport fuel obligation welcomed;
• Focus on improving fuel and maintenance standards in Biomass heat also noted as a positive aspect;
• However, there remains a significant policy gap post-March 2021, with a lack of clarity around support for the delivery of commercial or industrial scale renewable heat projects. This needs to be addressed urgently.
The REA have responded to the publication of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) closure consultation – ‘Ensuring a Sustainable Scheme – saying that while the Government have listened to industry and taken a pragmatic approach, there still remains a significant policy gap.
The move to enable biomethane projects to utilise both the RHI and Renewable transport fuel obligation was welcomed as a positive aspect, as was the focus on improving fuel and maintenance standards in Biomass heat.
However, the REA is concerned that a significant policy gap post-March 2021 remains, with a lack of clarity around support for the delivery of commercial or industrial scale renewable heat projects. This needs to be addressed urgently.
Mark Sommerfeld, Policy Manager at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:
“The REA are pleased that Government have taken on board our members concerns in their final decisions concerning the closure of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in March. Moves to make it easier for biomethane projects to benefit from both the RHI and renewable transport fuel obligation going forward are particularly welcome, enabling the further growth of the UK green gas sector. Equally, we welcome the pragmatic decisions to continue to improve standards around fuel quality and maintenance for biomass heat installations, something the wood heat industry has advocated for a long time.
“However, this consultation also brings into sharp relief that the Non-Domestic RHI will close in March with no comparable scheme or ambition in place to continue its success. As it stands, there will now be a very limited route to market for commercial heat decarbonisation projects and the pipeline for such developments is dramatically slowing. This is a policy gap that needs urgent attention if the UK is to achieve its 2050 net zero decarbonisation targets, which require the almost total decarbonisation of heat in all buildings.”