The REA hopes that the funding made available particularly in the Renewable Heat Inventive (RHI), a key policy that supports the renewable heat sector, will be open to a wide range of renewable technologies including biomass, biogas, and district heating.
Dr. Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, said: ‘We welcome the government’s commitment to renewable heat and are pleased they have listened to industry and our members – but the devil will be in the detail’
‘Our members recognised the need to make savings and presented to Treasury and DECC how we could optimise the RHI budget. A £700 million, cut is large, but we look forward to working with the government on reforming this crucial area.
‘We still have a large challenge in hitting our renewable heat targets, and the RHI alone won’t achieve it, heat networks, energy efficiency and Green Gas still have a large part to play.
Julian Morgan-Jones, Chairman of the Wood Heat Association, a subsidiary of the REA, commented: ‘We cautiously welcome the announcement on the continuation of the RHI. The growth of biomass boilers has pushed out dirty oil and has saved money for off-grid domestic consumers who have limited options for how to heat their homes.
“‘Biomass boilers represent one of the most cost-effective routes to our 2020 heat targets. Since 2011 over 24,700 biomass heating systems have been installed in homes, schools, hospitals, community buildings, and food production.
“Biomass heat is an outstanding success story for policy intervention in the problematic area of heating. The sector is developing a mature supply chains and requires stability to continue to drive costs down”.
The Renewable Energy Association – the largest trade association for renewable energy in the UK – has long been concerned about the government’s enduring commitment to the renewable economy after experiencing twelve major proposed and completed policy changes since the General Election and a drop in investor confidence in the energy sector.
The Renewable Heat Initiative is essential to the Government’s strategy to reducing the carbon emissions from the heating sector and to preventing climate change.
Furthermore, the UK needs to have 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020, and without the RHI, the Government will struggle to meet their target and face huge EU fines.