The recent RHI review announcement has been largely welcomed by the renewable energy sector – and the new long term strategy will be debated at the Energy Now Expo this February 8 and 9.
The new guidance, which maps out regulation for resetting RHI tariff levels until 2020/21, will mostly come into effect from spring 2017, and contains some encouraging signals for the industry that the government hopes will ease the process of securing development capital for larger scale sites.
But there are still some grey areas. Farmers wanting to find out how the changes will affect their installations and future investment opportunities should not miss the leading renewable energy event, and it’s free to book.
There will be a number of experts presenting on the RHI review at the expo. Lucy Hopwood from the NNFCC will present in the energy crops session, and is largely positive about the news. “The reforms offer a glimmer of hope for the bioenergy sectors and it’s pleasing to see so many industry-asks have been taken on-board,” says Lucy.
“However, there are still evident risks and the question is now how long the positivity may last as the introduction of tariff guarantees and resetting of tariffs may appear to be good news but the reality is the more successful the industry from early next year, the quicker the tariffs will reduce and the greater the risk becomes of early scheme closure,” she adds.
Charlotte Morton from the ADBA, although positive, also has some reservations. “We are pleased to see that tariff levels have been reset – this should support higher levels of deployment. We do not believe, however, that the restrictions on feedstock for new plants, which could have unintended consequences, are justified.
“The introduction of tariff guarantees is extremely welcome and we will continue to work with the UK Government and with our members to ensure the UK AD industry keeps growing and reaches its full potential – for example by calling for urgent action on food waste collections in England.”
Speakers at the Energy Now Expo on the topic of the RHI review include:
- Sarah Driver, policy manager from the non-domestic RHI team at Ofgem will be providing advice on day 1 of the event on applying for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) accreditation
- REA’s chief executive, Dr Nina Skorupska, will be discussing the UK renewables sector’s achievements so far, as well as the future direction and opportunities available
- Anne Laleman from Alpha Financial Environmental will examine the financial feasibility of AD projects in light of subsidy changes
- Peter Fain from FarmREO will speak in the finance session, providing an update on the subsidy support available
- Nick Monether from Greenfields Consulting, will be presenting on what the changes mean for the biomass sector
- Charlotte Davies from Lombard will explain how lending policy has evolved
- Lizzie Chatterjee, from the BEIS will present on the current RHI policy towards heat pumps
- Simon Shaw from Alvan Blanch will look at the practical implications of drying materials without the benefit of the RHI