Removing tariff pre-accreditation undermines renewable developments, warns Clearfleau chief

Richard Gueterbock
Richard Gueterbock

By DARA BUTTERFIELD

The development of renewable energy on industrial sites is being undermined by the UK Govt’s removal of pre-accreditation, a leader renewables chief has claimed.

Richard Gueterbock, Director of  Clearfleau, has condemned DECC’s recent actions on renewables, saying this will ‘seriously damage the market.’

He said: “I do not understand DECC’s failure to support smaller scale decentralised generation that can deliver affordable renewable heat and power for use on manufacturing industry sites.

“Industry is being urged to be more sustainable. Government incentives are a key factor for anaerobic digestion (AD) market development where pay-back can be a critical factor.

“Food and beverage manufacturers need some certainly when investing in renewables. Incentive rates impact on payback. DECC’s removal of pre-accreditation will undermine investment in on-site plants and choke the market. Doesn’t the Government want more sustainable manufacturing?

“Anaerobic digestion has already been hit by too many staged decreases of the sub 250kW Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate (50% in the past three years compared to 15% cut for the rate above 500kW).

Getting rid of pre-accreditation will require projects to proceed with no guarantees of revenue when the plant is built – which can often take 18 months for technologies like anaerobic digestion.

“Our Government is viewing the success in take-up of anaerobic digestion solely on the merchant plants (that take in municipal waste) and have received the bulk of the available incentives. The FIT budget for smaller (sub 500 kW) on-site plants, similar to those recently built for Nestle and Diageo has never been sufficient.

“So the food and drink manufacturers are being thwarted in efforts to reduce their costs and go green – they will only embrace on-site renewables, including AD, if they have more certainty in predicting payback.”

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