The government delayed the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme on Thursday, less than a day before it was due to launch on Friday, following concerns over tariffs voiced by the European Commission (EC).
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said the EC was concerned the RHI’s tariff for biomass had been set too high.
The RHI scheme requires state aid, and the EC will now only approve the scheme “subject to a reduction in the large biomass tariff”. Decc said that once it has received written confirmation from the Commission it can make a further announcement about the consequences for the biomass tariff and the timing of the scheme’s launch.
The RHI is a £860M scheme incentivising the use of renewable heating technologies such as solar thermal panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers. Under the scheme, organisations using renewable heat will receive quarterly payments for 20 years from the date they enter the scheme. It will cover technologies such as heat pumps, biomass boiler and renewable combined heat and power.