Important changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

In just a few months’ time all participants in the RHI will have to use fuels that meet sustainability criteria or risk their payments being stopped.

As the renewable heat market grows, Ofgem is using the new rules to make sure that biomass meets the government’s carbon and environmental targets.

This will affect domestic and non-domestic RHI participants as well as producers and suppliers of biomass fuels. Whilst systems 1MW and over are already required to report on sustainability of fuel and feedstock, from October new criteria will also apply for smaller systems.

TEAM’s RHI industry expert Justine Grant says: “Ofgem is contacting all RHI participants to warn them of the changes, but if they don’t comply, RHI payments would have to be stopped. This would be a disaster for the reputation of renewable heat, the RHI scheme and the participants. Don’t get caught out!”

What are the new criteria?
  • Biomass fuel (s) for RHI must meet a lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 34.8g CO₂ equivalent per MJ of heat generated.
  • Biomass fuel will need to meet certain land criteria:

 Woodfuel criteria are outlined in the UK Timber standard for Heat and Electricity.
  For other types of biomass, land criteria are planned to correspond to the Renewable Heat Directive (RED) for transport biofuels and bioliquids.

In order for fuel (s) to become or remain authorised, the supplier must comply with Sustainability and Land criteria. The easiest way to comply with the new rules is to purchase fuel from suppliers listed on the Biomass Suppliers’ List (BSL), which show approved suppliers that meet the new RHI criteria.

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