UK Government seeks views on future low carbon heat support beyond the RHI

The plan backs replacement of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) with a new Clean Heat Grant, which will provide support for heat pumps and in certain circumstances biomass

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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation to explore what support for low carbon heat is likely to look like beyond the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The proposals, which are set to ‘support businesses at a time when economic recovery will be so important’ aim at accelerating the decarbonisation of the UK’s heating systems.

The UK Government’s consultation also backs the replacement of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) with a new Clean Heat Grant, which is going to provide support for heat pumps and biomass through an upfront capital grant to help address the barrier of upfront cost.

BEIS calls for proposals on a Green Gas Support Scheme with the aim to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid through support for biomethane injection, as well as proposals regarding the financial management of spending proposals for green gas, building technologies and participant compliance.

It says the suggestions are to offer an extension to the domestic RHI until 31st March 2022 and on the projects holding a tariff guarantee until at least mid-March 2021.

Additionally, it will introduce a third allocation of flexible tariff guarantees under the non-domestic RHI.

Frank Gordon, Head of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, commented on these changes: “Overall, these are mixed announcements for the renewable heat industry. On the one hand, they have provided much-welcomed clarity on the completion of projects currently underway, the prospect of new projects and the government’s commitment to green gas.

“On the other hand, we were disappointed by the lack of extension for new non-domestic RHI projects and the implications the cap on the future grant scheme will have.”

Richard Burrell, CEO of AMP Clean Energy, said: “AMP Clean Energy welcomes the announcement by BEIS to extend Tariff Guarantees for the RHI until 2022. This will allow a number of large industrial heat decarbonisation projects to progress as well as stimulate much needed new activity in the heat sector. 

We also look forward to engaging with BEIS in response to the consultation to examine ways to replace or extend the existing RHI scheme to ensure that progress on heat decarbonisation can be maintained.  We welcome the opportunity to shape these important policies that will create jobs and demonstrate that the government is committed to its net zero ambitions which will be crucial to driving economic activity as we move beyond Covid-19.”

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