NFU wins over plans to amend Renewable Heat Incentive

The NFU has successfully challenged Government’s plans to remove the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) support from crop drying and other drying processes, enabling farmers to continue to use most of these practices. 

The NFU worked alongside FEC Energy and other trade associations to prevent the removal of the some eligible heat uses from the RHI scheme. BEIS have recently announced that farmers will remain eligible to receive support for crop drying, drying of non-woody biomass fuels and wood drying for non-fuel use under the RHI scheme.

The original proposal to remove support came from The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) last September among reforms to tighten up the rules of the RHI scheme.

NFU chief adviser for renewable energy and climate change Jonathan Scurlock said: “We are very pleased that BEIS officials have listened to the NFU and FEC and decided to maintain support for crop drying.

“Drying is a legitimate part of the agricultural processing of food and animal feed products, which may be required for reasons of food safety, food quality and to meet contractual obligations on moisture content – sometimes under challenging ambient environmental conditions.”

FEC Energy senior consultant Jon Swain said: “The department’s plans would have had an adverse effect on many farmers and growers looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for maintaining and improving crop quality.

“It is heartening to see how sector associations and the renewable heat industry worked together to put forward the case for RHI support for such drying practices. The recent decision will provide certainty for renewable heat projects being planned for 2018.”

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