A government proposal to lower the support levels for some combined heat and power systems (CHP) has been criticised by a range of industry associations.

Biomass CHP plants that have a power efficiency lower than 20% will see a reduction in subsidy payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, which the government says will “close a loophole” in existing regulations.

A government spokesperson defended the move, saying companies could get double the amount of subsidy by generating electricity as well as heat, even if the amount of electricity they were producing was very small. The changes will mean that companies will receive payments that better reflect the amount of electricity they actually produce

Speaking on 3 August, Renewable Energy Association head of policy and external affairs James Court said: “More than £140m worth of investment is affected by this change, with a planned renewable energy capacity totalling 203MW heat and 20MW power. The industry was preparing for a new tariff structure from spring 2017, as outlined in the recent RHI consultation, but no one was warned about this change.”

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