Fewer than 20,000 non-domestic RHI installations in five years

The government’s much lauded Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) has been adopted by fewer than 20,000 businesses. The RHI financially rewards both domestic and non-domestic consumers for using renewable energy […]

By Jonny Bairstow

The government’s much lauded Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) has been adopted by fewer than 20,000 businesses.

The RHI financially rewards both domestic and non-domestic consumers for using renewable energy to heat their homes by paying them a regular tariff.

The payments aim to offset the cost of installing and running a renewable heating system.

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There have been 17,430 non-domestic applications since the scheme was launched in 2011, with 16,133 being accredited. This has translated into 11,866GWh of renewable heat being generated.

In 2016 there were fewer applications compared to previous years but installations were generally larger.

RHI non-domestic applications by type

 

The majority of heat generated and paid for on the non-domestic scheme has come from small biomass (38%), medium biomass (26%), large biomass (14%) and biomethane (18%).

In contrast, almost half of the 56,624 applications for the domestic scheme were for air source heat pumps. A total of 52,971 applications have been accredited for payment, generating 1,409GWh.

The second half of 2016 saw the lowest number of overall applications yet.

Patterns of deployment differed from region to region. A third of applications in Scotland were biomass, compared to a fifth in other regions and more than half of all applications in London were solar thermal, compared to about a sixth elsewhere.

Air source heat pumps account for almost half of all installations and almost one third of all of heat generated and paid for. In contrast, biomass accounts for over half of heat generated to date but makes up only a quarter of approved installations.

The government has confirmed new reforms for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

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