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Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
RHI Update - Renewable Heat Incentive December 2013
Following the publication of the latest consultation response on the 4th December 2013, “Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive – Improving Support, Increasing Uptake”, some important amendments and additions to the scheme have been announced to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme (subject to state-aid approval).
Also published late last month and confirmed in today’s publication, was the forecasted and actual uptake of the RHI. Although both small and medium scale biomass had both exceeded their capacity trigger (the point at which a tariff can be reduced due to high uptake), the RHI scheme as a whole had not passed its 50% capacity trigger, therefore none of the schemes tariffs will be reduced in January.
Key amongst the amendments made today is that the large biomass tariff for installations >1MWth, previously at 1.0 p/kWh, will increase in Spring 2014 to 2.0 p/kWh. This increase will affect installations commissioned on or after the 21st January 2013, and payments at the 2 pence rate will only come into effect from spring onwards i.e. there will not be any back dating of payments.
Other proposed introductions and amendments include:
- Biomass CHP of all scales at a rate of 4.1 p/kWh, the plant must demonstrate compliance with the existing Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance (CHPQA) criteria
- Biogas combustion of between 200kW and 600kW at a rate of 5.9 p/kWh and above 600kW at a rate of 2.2 p/kWh although no requirements to fulfil CHPQA requirements have been announced at this stage
- Deep geothermal has been introduced at a rate of 5.0 p/kWh. It was previously covered by the Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) tariff of 4.8 for <100kW systems and 3.5 p/kWh for >100kW systems
- Ground Source Heat Pumps will benefit from a tiered tariff, with the rate equating to a flat 7.2 p/kWh depending on load factor
- The introduction of Air to Water Heat Pumps has been given an initial rate of 2.5 p/kWh
- Energy from Waste (EfW) is an important introduction with a Pro rata payment of 2.0 p/kWh for fuels with >10% biogenic material in them
- Solar thermal has seen an increase from 9.2 p/kWh to 10 p/kWh
DECC are also considering a tariff guarantee for larger installations (for example >1MW biomass) similar to that of the pre-accreditation of large wind turbines and Anaerobic Digestion plants on the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme. Biomass sustainability reporting, whereby reporting of fuel source and fuel use will be mandatory, has been postponed to Autumn 2014. The Biomass suppliers list is also to be opened in the Spring of 2014.