Evaluation Renewable Heat Incentive
RHI: Non-Domestic Interim Report - 29 August 2014
DECC has commissioned and published an "independent" report on the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
The report considers how the non-domestic RHI is meeting its objectives and concludes that:
- the RHI is stimulating investments in renewable heat technologies
- the experiences with the installation and operation of renewable heat technologies have been positive
- although renewable heat technologies are being installed in a wide range of sectors, the relatively low prevalence of non-biomass renewable heat technologies, larger systems, and the lack of non-self-financed installations shows that areas of the supply chain still have room to develop.
If the report is very gentle on DECC, then this may be because DECC commissioned the report and paid for it.
A description of the RHI and its purpose is given in DECC's own impact assessment of December 2013: The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is an inflation-linked incentive to owners of renewable heat installations. It was introduced in the non-domestic sector in November 2011 and a domestic scheme is planned for Spring 2014. It is intended to help overcome the cost differential between renewable and conventional heating systems in order to incentivise deployment and contribute to meeting the UK's legally binding 2020 Renewable Energy Directive target.
The DECC policy objectives and the intended effects are to:
- facilitate the heat sector's contribution to the 2020 renewable energy target
- deliver significant reductions in the carbon emissions from fossil fuels used for heating;
- deliver a step-change in the uptake of renewable heat technologies helping to increase renewable heat from its current level of around 1.5% (now 2%) to 12%
- incentivise uptake across a range of technologies
An objective evaluation of the non-domestic RHI might conclude that the effects of the RHI, since it was originally proposed in 2008, are:
- the heat sector's contribution to the 2020 renewable energy target has been marginal
- that no significant reduction in carbon emissions from heating has yet been achieved
- there has been no step change in the uptake of any renewable heat technologies
- almost all the incentives have been paid in relation to biomass boilers.
Please see the executive summary of the Evaluation of the Renewable Heat Incentive: interim report which states that only 3,769 applications had been accredited by 31 March 2014 and that over a fifth of the applicants reported that the application process itself had taken more than 15 days.
The full report is available here.
Please also see Ten reasons why DECC should support Ground Source Energy.