The thermal solar industry was promised by the government that the Renewable Heat Incentive would come into effect on 30th September 2011. This promise was made around two years ago. Like all incentive schemes the government needs to get approval from the European Commission to the incentive package. It expected approval to be rubber stamped but the European Commission has expressed concerns that part of the non domestic RHI – that relating to biomass – has been given too high incentives by the RHI. Thus with EU approval withheld the whole non domestic RHI is held in abeyance. The government is for some reason unable to bring in the non controversial tariffs like that relating to solar thermal because it means changing the proposed regulations and submitting them to Parliament.
Now you may think that I am making this up. I promise you that I am not. The UK government has had two years to put in an incentive scheme for renewable heat and manages to design such a scheme which fails to tick all the EU boxes. They find out at the last minute. These facts demonstrate that ministers have got a clue about on what is going on at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and their civil servants are unfit to run an incentive scheme, and probably some might say, they are all unfit to run a bath.
The apology of course is missing. All that appears from DECC is “Once we have received written confirmation from the Commission, we will make a further announcement about what this means for the large biomass tariff and the timing of the launch. We are committed to launching the scheme as soon as possible to minimise disruption to stakeholders”.
Yes, DECC will wait for the letter (just in case the EC says one thing and writes another thing) and then?
The solution is to omit biomass from the regulations and proceed post haste with all the other parts of the RHI. Biomass can be sorted out in due course but there is no need to penalise all of the other renewable heat technologies simply because the biomass lobby got too greedy and the civil servants and ministers were too foolish to understand what they should be doing.
Filed under: climate change, energy, global warming, heat, Renewable Heat Incentive, renewables Tagged: | and incentive schemes., civil servants, DECC, European Commission, incentive package, incentive scheme, post haste, RHI, State aID FOR rhi