Vital boost to on farm production of green gas thanks to new reforms

9th February 2018 | Commercial Energy

The UK’s anaerobic digestion industry has welcomed the laying of legislation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive, 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.

This would, in turn, give long-term certainty to investors and those generating renewable heat, such as farmers. 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.

Green gas

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, said the AD industry has had to “wait patiently” for the new reforms for over a year. “The introduction of higher tariff rates and tariff guarantees will give a vital boost to green gas production in the UK,” Ms Morton said.

Figures show green gas currently heats over 300,000 homes and displaces almost 800,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent to taking almost a million cars off British roads.
Ms Morton added, “We now need to see the proposed RHI reforms passed and in force as soon as possible to allow the AD industry to carbonise 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 signed the statutory instrument.

The reforms were originally proposed by the Department for Business, Energy and 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.

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