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RHI Reforms A Welcome Boost For Renewable Heat

Earlier this month (May 17), long-awaited reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) were successfully passed through Parliament. Duncan McPherson, CEO at CooperOstlund, believes this ruling will provide the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry with a welcome boost.

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CooperOstlund

“While the RHI has remained a hotly-debated subject since its introduction back in 2011, the scheme has proved invaluable for the adoption of renewable heating technologies. Take the green gas industry, for example, where subsidies have played an instrumental role in driving production to almost 4TWh per annum,” says Duncan McPherson, CEO at CooperOstlund.

“However, according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), the industry’s potential is considerably more. In fact, research has identified that renewable resources could replace up to 15% of the UK’s entire gas consumption – but only with the correct support.

“Last week’s legislative reform, therefore, was a milestone for the industry. The eagerly-anticipated announcement means that, from tomorrow (22 May), gas-to-grid (G2G) plant operators will benefit from a tariff of 5.6p/KWh (guaranteed for 20 years following site commissioning).

“With other subsidies, such as the Feed-in-Tariff (FiTs) scheme, amid phase-out degressions, this announcement has provided much-needed stability for businesses operating across the renewable heat supply chain. A cap of 40,000MWh will surely see small-scale sites reap the highest reward – a segment prime for growth potential.

“As a European leader in G2G technology provision, CooperOstlund welcomes the RHI reforms. Alongside supporting the industry’s growth, investment in sustainable solutions continues our national march towards achieving renewable targets.

“While subsidies may not be the long-term solution for embracing a more renewable future, they have an important part to play in rekindling short-term industry growth. As such, we look forward to welcoming a number of new sites to the UK’s green gas portfolio over the coming months.

“When the RHI finally bows-out (a move expected within the next three years), we hope subsidy support will have made significant impact – both in terms of securing facility development funding and financing R&D projects. By then, our primary goal is for renewable heat to operate subsidy-free as a key contributor to the UK’s energy landscape.”

For more information about CooperOstlund, or the company’s portfolio of gas engine specification and maintenance services, visit its website here.

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