Seven major renewable energy trade associations in Scotland-UK have signed a joint letter to Amber Rudd, Energy Minister, publically supporting comments she made in a recent select committee meeting – and calling for her to commit to continuing the renewable heat initiative (RHI)
The government’s stance on renewable heat since the UK general election, has been unclear, and the continuation of the renewable heat initiative – a major policy supporting the renewable energy industry -has hung in the balance.
The Minister emphasised that heat is essential to meeting government 2020 targets in front of the Energy and Climate Change committee in Parliament.
The joint letter emphasises that the heat sector is critical to meeting legally mandated 2020 targets, but also “to our carbon budgets and the long term de-carbonisation of the UK’s energy system.”
The Renewable Energy Association reports that presently the UK is set to fall short of its heat targets. The letter emphasises that a coordinated approach is needed. A strategic heat policy would also consider energy efficiency, housing standards, and network infrastructure.
The industry looks forward to the confirmation of a policy framework in the Comprehensive Spending Review, expected on 25 November 2015 that will continue to encourage low carbon businesses in the UK.
Nina Skorupska, Director, Renewable Energy Association, said: “A third of all UK carbon emissions originate from heat, and just about half of all UK energy is used for heating. Yet only 4.9% of our heat infrastructure is currently renewable and low carbon.
“The RHI has been hugely successful, and has encouraged 12,000 installations in schools, hotels, offices and businesses, and 43,000 installations in homes. The RHI needs a renewed budget to continue to incentivise renewable heat, so we can reach our 2020 renewable targets.”
“We are pleased to see Amber Rudd argue for the importance of renewable, low-carbon heat in front of the Environment & Climate Change Committee. Renewable heat is essential to meeting the Government’s 2020 targets, carbon budgets, and the long term decarbonisation of the UK’s energy system.
The Signatories of the joint letter are:
- Dr. Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association
- Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive, Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA)
- Simon Lomax, Chairman, Ground Source Heat Pump Association
- Mike Nankivell, President, Heat Pump Association
- Dave Sowden, Chief Executive, Sustainable Energy Association
- Niall Stuart, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables
- Dr. Howard Porter, Chief Executive, BEAMA