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UK biomass heat bodies welcome BEIS non-domestic RHI extension

News that the UK Government and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to extend the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) for a further twelve-month period from March 2021 has been greatly welcomed by biomass heat industry leaders.

News that the UK Government and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is to extend the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) for a further twelve-month period from March 2021 has been greatly welcomed by biomass heat industry leaders such as the UK Pellet Council (UKPC) and Biomass Heat Works! represented by Mark Lebus, Chairman of the UKPC (photo courtesy UKPC).

Representatives from the UK Pellet Council (UKPC) and Biomass Heat Works! are fully supportive of the move which, in light of current economic conditions, aims to help UK organisations including care homes, hospitals, food and agricultural producers, manufacturers, and the public sector, for example, continue with renewable energy projects as part of the road map to net zero.

This latest announcement will mean that companies that had to delay renewable energy projects because of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including biomass heat installations, will now have more time to complete even though the NDRHI ends in March 2021.

This latest news by the Government is very much welcomed by the biomass heat industry and is one that will provide some level of reassurance and support during what has become a very uncertain time. We have worked continuously and closely with Government officials and various departments, particularly BEIS, over the last year to discuss the sector, its huge potential, and to provide feedback on proposed policy, therefore we’re pleased that this twelve month amendment has been made in the short-term, remarked Mark Lebus, Chairman of the UKPC.

Ongoing commercial installations only

However, this will only apply to commercial enterprises with installation projects already in progress, although the qualification criteria have been expanded in this latest announcement.

It will bridge a temporary one-year gap in line with the Domestic RHI (DRHI) for both the client as well as hundreds of supply chain companies, giving a little more reassurance to projects over the forthcoming year.

Heat decarbonisation, especially in rural, non-urban areas, has become one of the most challenging aspects of UK net-zero policy with biomass heat, as part of a technology-neutral mix, having the potential to create more green jobs, a greener economy and significantly reduce carbon emissions for the majority of off-grid households and businesses. We hope to continue working closely with BEIS to create a clear and positive path forward for biomass heat, especially where it is identified to be the most suitable solution for homes and commercial buildings, said Mark Lebus.

Call for a more targeted rural decarbonisation policy

According to Lebus, biomass heat is a UK-driven market, separate from that of the larger industrial power stations, that provides localized benefits and supports 700+ supply chain companies and 46 000 bioenergy jobs.

Biomass Heat Works!, delivered by the UK Pellet Council, is calling on ministers for a much more targeted, rural heat decarbonisation policy that has an approach to net-zero and brings together all elements of the industry; renewable energy solutions provided by local businesses, sustainable forestry management, domestic UK wood pellet manufacturing, rural economic growth, and job security at a time when most needed.

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