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Farmers urged to review their heat strategies to benefit from new RHI measures

Roger Parry & Partners are urging farmers to use the recent introduction of new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) measures to review their heat strategies as there are economic advantages, as well as wider environmental benefits, to be had.

The long-awaited reforms of the RHI passed their final parliamentary hurdle last week [22 May 2018] and have been implemented with immediate effect. The initiative, originally launched in 2011, has been instrumental in kick starting the UK’s push towards a target of 11% of its heat requirement coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Richard Corbett, Partner with Roger Parry & Partners, said,

“The new government policy opens up opportunities for farmers in England and Wales, most notably, tariff guarantees for certain systems will provide certainty to projects with long lead-in times. The measures will also increase the viability for anaerobic digestion projects, where tariffs are due to increase.

“However, with any new government policy it will also bring challenges to farmers including those that have diversified as wood fuel drying, waste drying/processing, and domestic swimming pools have been removed as eligible uses of heat and there’s new Biogas/biomethane feedstock restrictions.”

The new package of measures introduces a range of regulations affecting both the RHI scheme introduced in 2011 and the domestic scheme which was introduced in 2014. They include:

  • Introduction of tariff guarantees
  • Introduction of assignment of rights
  • Uplift to biogas/biomethane tariffs
  • Biogas/biomethane feedstock restrictions
  • Removal of wood fuel drying, waste drying/processing, and domestic swimming pools as eligible uses of heat
  • Removal of digestate drying as an eligible heat use
  • Changes to CHP efficiency thresholds
  • Revision of degression thresholds
  • Introduction of shared ground loop regulations for the Non-domestic RHI
  • Introduction of mandatory electricity metering for heat pumps on the Domestic RHI and domestic properties on shared ground loop systems in the Non-domestic RHI
  • Various operational administrative changes