DECC confirms support for renewable heat technologies

30th April, 2013

The financial returns for businesses installing renewable heat technologies are likely to increase from next year, after climate minister Greg Barker confirmed an upcoming consultation on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme will increase tariffs for some technologies.

Speaking to BusinessGreen as part of a wide-ranging interview on the policy, Barker acknowledged the department had faced a series of technical and resource issues that have resulted in repeated delays to the introduction of the domestic RHI scheme.

But he insisted the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) now had "a credible, sensible timetable for delivery of the policy" in place that will both bolster the appeal of the existing non-domestic RHI scheme and ensure the domestic part of the scheme is introduced next spring.

He also confirmed that the government will within weeks propose changes to the tariffs available to business installing renewable heat technologies, which will be consulted on and should then come into effect from next spring.

Asked if the changes would increase incentives for those technologies that have to date seen disappointing levels of adoption, Barker confirmed the government was seeking to increase some of the tariffs.

"I am absolutely determined to drive the take-up of renewable heat and that means ensuring deployment," he said "we will publish a set of indicative tariffs that we think industry will be encouraged by. Basically, within a matter of weeks industry should have a high level of certainty on the level of tariffs in the non-domestic scheme going forward. They will not necessarily be improved across the board, but they will certainly be improvements in the scheme."

BusinessGreen also understands that the RHI scheme for businesses will be extended to cover a wider portfolio of technologies, with combined heat and power systems, air-to-water and air-to-air heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, geothermal and a number of waste-to-energy technologies all potentially in line for increased support.

This article first appeared in The Guardian website on 22nd April.

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