Bill passed to up biogas RHI subsidies in the UK

Coming into effect on 22 May, the legislation will increase the amount available to biogas and biomethane producers under the scheme and impose new feedstock requirements.

The Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has been told that legislation has passed that will restore higher tariff levels under the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The tariffs are being seen as a boon for the biogas industry and will come into effect on 22 May.

Subsidies for biomethane are being reverted to those between April and June 2016, and subsidies for biogas are being reverted to those between October and December 2016. Both of these are being adjusted for inflation and are to ensure that the technologies receive enough support to stimulate growth.

At least 50% of biogas and biomethane must come from waste residues to be eligible under the revised RHI. Where more than half comes from crops, everything over the threshold will not be supported.

The reforms are designed to ‘rebalance’ the projects supported by the scheme (which is currently dominated by biomass boilers and crop-fed anaerobic digestion) to better address sustainability and carbon targets.

The RHI automatically closes when it reaches its budget cap, meaning that there is currently a chance of the scheme closing in the period between a project being committed to and becoming eligible for subsidies. ‘Tariff guarantees’ included in the Bill are designed to resolve this and give investors certainly about the subsidies a project will receive. A rate will be promised from the point of financial close, rather than from when it is commissioned or begins operation in the case of biomethane facilities.

Source: Bioenergy Insight

Read more here