Farming News - Anaerobic digestion industry says reforms will ‘give vital boost’ to green gas production
Anaerobic digestion industry says reforms will ‘give vital boost’ to green gas production
The UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has today welcomed the laying of legislation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which it says will ‘give a vital boost’ to the production of green gas in the UK.
The proposed reforms to the RHI, a government scheme designed to incentivise the generation of renewable heat, would restore tariffs for heat generation to levels that would stimulate deployment and provide tariff guarantees to give long-term certainty to investors and those generating renewable heat.
Biomethane (or green gas), produced through recycling organic wastes and treating purpose-grown energy crops in AD plants, is one such source of renewable heat that is eligible for support under the RHI.
Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, said:
“We’re delighted to see the laying of these reforms to the RHI, which the AD industry has had to wait very patiently for over the past year. The introduction of higher tariff rates and tariff guarantees will give a vital boost to green gas production in the UK, which is currently heating over 300,000 homes and displacing almost 800,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent to taking almost a million cars off our roads.
“We now need to see the proposed RHI reforms passed and in force as soon as possible to allow the AD industry to decarbonise the gas grid and reduce our dependence on natural gas imports from unstable regions of the world.”
Having now been laid before Parliament, the RHI reforms will face six to eight weeks of Parliamentary scrutiny before approval. The regulations will then become law the day following approval, when the Minister responsible signs the statutory instrument.
The reforms were originally proposed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in December 2016 but were delayed by last year’s snap general election and Brexit-related legislation dominating the legislative timetable throughout 2017.