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RHI Tariff Guarantee extension good for UK biomethane but clarity needed for post-2021 – ADBA

Earlier this week, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) laid out regulation to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)’s Tariff Guarantee by one year, moving the deadline from January 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021. A move welcomed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) as it will enable the completion of additional biomethane plant projects but the government needs to focus on post-2021 policy so the anaerobic industry (AD) can plan ahead.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive, Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA)

The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has laid out regulation to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)’s Tariff Guarantee by one year, moving the deadline from January 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021. A move welcomed by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) as it will enable the completion of additional biomethane plant projects. “Now we need the government to focus on what happens after January 2021, so that the industry can start to plan,” said Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive, ADBA.

The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) regulations to extend the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)’s Tariff Guarantee by one year were made public on June 26, 2019, and detailed on BEIS’ website, put into effect changes first made public at the end of May 2019 and will come into force on July, 17, 2019.

Tariff Guarantee is designed to provide certainty over the future tariffs that large scale projects will receive once commissioned, acknowledging their technical complexity and the need for investors’ security. To date, 43 tariff guarantees have been granted, 32 of them for biomethane plants.  ADBA expects around 24 more to be commissioned by January 2020.

Given the urgent need to decarbonise heat, this is a welcome move, and should provide the opportunity to get a few more biomethane plants built to help green the gas grid. Now we need government to focus on what happens after January 2021, so that the industry can start to plan. With more food waste expected to come out of the waste stream as a result of the introduction of separate food waste collections, and nearly 90 million tonnes of farm manures and slurries still not being treated, we urgently need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and support green alternatives such as AD instead, said Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the ADBA.

The new regulations and other topics will be discussed at the upcoming UK AD & World Biogas Expo and concurrent inaugural World Biogas Summit that will take place at the NEC in Birmingham, July 3-4.

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