UK Government implements changes to non-domestic RHI

Improvements to world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) came into force on 28 May 2014, offering cost-effective renewable technologies room to grow.

Among the key amendments to the scheme are the introduction of new support for on-site combustion of biogas from anaerobic digestion at all scales (previously limited to <200kW) and waste-based heating projects using commercial and industrial waste as well as municipal solid waste, but also new tariffs that may affect existing participants.

With regard to the expected changes to RHI tariffs, a factsheet published by the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) shows that for medium biogas installations of 200 kWth to 600 kWth the tariff is expected to be 5.9 p/kWh, while for large biogas installations above 600 kWth in size it will be set at 2.2 p/kWh. For biomethane injected into the grid, on the other hand, the situation is more complex, two tariff options being proposed: banding and tiering. For each option, scenarios are presented that illustrate how tariffs for different sizes of biomethane plant might be derived.

Welcoming the consultation on tariffs for RHI, ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said:

“The consultation on RHI tariffs offers the opportunity to put support for biomethane to grid on a long-term basis. Biomethane is a vitally important part of our energy future, offering the chance to decarbonise difficult areas like the gas grid and heavy goods transport without widespread changes to infrastructure. Although we are pleased that DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) are proposing a tiering option for the tariffs, we are concerned that the tariff levels proposed in the consultation document will be too low to continue to incentivise deployment. We will work closely with DECC and our members over the course of the consultation to provide the evidence they need to provide tariffs which continue to promote development.”

More details on the content of the consultations are presented in the RHI Biomethane Injection to Grid Tariff Review.

Source: REA, ADBA and UK Government