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SEAI publishes Terms and Conditions draft for Irish renewable heat scheme

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has published the draft terms and conditions including eligibility and sustainability criteria, for the new government initiative Support Scheme Renewable Heat (SSRH).

The proposed Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) may provide a market upswing for domestic pellet producers.

On August 7, SEAI published draft Terms and Conditions for the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D. has welcomed the publication.

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat is a key measure to increase renewable energy in the heat sector and decrease emissions.  The scheme will also create new commercial opportunities for Ireland’s bioenergy and renewable heat industries.  The draft Terms & Conditions are designed to ensure that the heat generated under the SSRH will be sustainable, applied for useful purposes and represent value for money for the taxpayer, said Minister Naughten.

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat will financially support the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy for non-domestic heat users in the non-emissions trading sector.  The scheme will consist of two types of support mechanism – an operational support for biomass and anaerobic digestion (AD) heating systems and an installation grant for heat pumps.

The National Development Plan sets out an indicative allocation of EUR 300 million for the rollout of the scheme for the period 2018-2027.

SEAI’s publication of the draft Terms & Conditions will allow stakeholders to prepare themselves for the introduction of the scheme.  My Department is engaging with the European Commission regarding the State aid approval for the scheme.  The scheme is planned to commence operation later this year subject to State Aid approval, Minister Naughten said.

According to the Irish Bioenergy Association (IrBEA), the levels of support for biomass heating and for biogas appear unchanged from those indicated in December 2017.

Furthermore, IrBEA understands from conversations with SEAI that SSRH will be available for all commercial applications – with no lower limit and that the budget for the scheme for biomass is EUR 18 million per annum for 15 years. An online portal for applications is planned to be open in September.

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