REA Welcomes Renewable Heat Incentive Consultations

The RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) consultations launched by DECC Minister Greg Barker are a major step forward for DECC's RHI.

The RHI was secured after successful campaigning by the REA (Renewable Energy Association) for action on renewable heat. Heat is the biggest use of energy in the UK, supplied predominantly by fossil gas. Heat accounts for 47% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Renewables currently comprise just over 1% of total heat production in the UK, almost the lowest figure in Europe.

Non-domestic biomass boilers, ground-source heat pumps, biogas combustion, biomethane injection and solar thermal are already supported by the RHI. The new proposals offer further support to domestic renewable heat, air-source heat pumps, biogas over 200kW, bioliquids, a wider range of wastes, deep geothermal heat, combined heat and power (CHP), and a greater range of industrial applications of heat.

Rural communities especially stand to benefit from the RHI as it will widen the range of affordable heating options for homes not on the gas grid, where fuel poverty is concentrated. Business and industrial heat users will be able to protect themselves against rising energy costs and at the same time reduce their carbon footprint. The RHI is also a major industrial policy that will result in tens of thousands of new green jobs, in equipment installation and fuel supply, including in the forestry and waste management industries.

REA Head of Policy Paul Thompson, who was speaking this morning alongside officials from DECC and Ofgem at an REA seminar on sustainability under the RHI, said:

“Renewable heat has been the sleeping giant of UK renewable energy policy. Renewable heat technologies are often very cost-effective, and have a major role to play in reducing our carbon emissions, improving our energy security, and revitalising our economy. We are delighted that the Government has published these proposals on time and we are looking forward to engaging further with DECC on the details to make the RHI work.”