29 Mar 2012 10:03:19
RHI timetable holds back Coalition promises
DECC's timetable of milestones for the Renewable Heat Incentive will hamper delivery of the Government's promises, Lord Redesdale, Liberal Democrat peer and chair of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association said yesterday.
The timetable, announced earlier this week, says that the Government will consult on extending support to new technologies in the non-domestic sector in September 2012, with changes taking effect in summer 2013.
Lord Redesdale, who was named as 'Environmental Parliamentarian of the Year' by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management in November, has warned that this will leave important issues unresolved for too long to allow the coalition to deliver its green commitments.
Alongside the timetable of milestones, DECC published a consultation on interim cost control measures, which showed uptake of the scheme remains well below budget.
Lord Redesdale said: "The timetable for the RHI announced by DECC this week is deeply disappointing, and risks breaking the Government's commitments on renewable energy, including their promise to support a 'huge increase in energy from waste' through anaerobic digestion.
"For example, support for heat use from biogas combustion is limited to 200kWth, which means many AD projects are unable to make full use of the heat they produce. When DECC brought that limit in they said it was temporary – so to hear that it may stay until summer 2013 is a source of huge frustration. As well as putting the Government's commitments at risk, it is fundamentally wrong not to support good uses of renewable heat which replace fossil fuel energy. More widely, the AD industry offers excellent value for money, and could deliver 35,000 jobs and a £3 billion industry which would help green growth enormously.
"Instead of progress on issues such as support for biogas combustion, Government is proposing policy on cost control which risks putting off investment and which their own consultation document shows is unnecessary. ADBA will be working hard to see if we can get an earlier decision on extending support for heat use from biogas combustion, which would help countless AD projects, heat users who want to switch to green energy, and the economy more widely."
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