The government has confirmed it is extending the deadline for applications to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme by a year.
It was set up to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies among households, communities and businesses by providing financial incentives to contribute towards the UK’s 2020 goal of 12% of heating coming from renewable sources.
Under previous regulations, all plants will a tariff guarantee would have needed to commence injection of biomethane by 31st January 2020 or 183 days after the date when the applicant expected the project to begin.
However, they will now have until 31st January 2021 to do so following an industry campaign.
According to BEIS, the government has granted 43 tariff guarantees for large-scale projects since May 2018, the majority of which produce biomethane for injection to the gas grid.
Projects with an existing tariff guarantee will be eligible to withdraw their current application and reapply to the extended allocation of the scheme to achieve a later commissioning date.
The news follows industry concerns about the original deadline being “extremely tight”, when taking into account the build times of biomethane projects and the time needed by the gas networks to verify that the commissioning followed appropriate procedures.
In a letter to BEIS, it warned a number of biomethane plant developers and funders could abandon their investments and projects unless a quick decision was made to extend the deadline.
James Court, Policy & External Affairs Director at the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said: “The RHI extension is fantastic news for the industry and incredibly rewarding for the REA who has dedicated a lot time and effort to this campaign over the last few months.
“The extension will encourage new development and sends a positive message to the sector that government is committed to fostering green gas and advancing the decarbonisation of the gas grid.”
David Smith, Chief Executive of the Energy Networks Association (ENA) added: “Today’s announcement is excellent news for the public, industry and Britain’s climate targets – boosting the amount of low carbon green gas on our gas networks provides low carbon heating with virtually zero disruption and at no extra cost to households.
“Gas network companies are at the very heart of this work, having connected almost 100 biomethane plants to the gas grid already and now developing plans for a low cost, low carbon gas network through the launch of ENA’s long-term Gas Decarbonisation Pathways project.”
Technologies for energy users that can help them reduce emissions and costs will be among those on display at The Energy Solutions Show (TESS) this Wednesay, June 5th, at Millennium Point in Birmingham.
If you wish to register as a delegate for free, you can send an e-mail here.