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Long-term tariff support for renewable heat opens for applications in Great Britain

02 December 2011

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As of this Monday 28 November 2011, phase 1 of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – the world’s first scheme providing long-term tariff payment to owners of renewable heating equipment - has opened for applications. RHI will initially provide assistance to industry, business and communities across Great Britain for installing ground- and water-source heat pumps with up to 4.5 pence/kWh.
Ground- & water-source NH3 heat pump installations may receive 20-year support
Organisations will be able to apply to the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), which is administering the scheme, for receiving tariff payments on a quarterly basis for renewable heat generated over a period of 20 years.

The £860 million (about €983 million) that has been made available by the government for the scheme is expected to result in 14,000 industrial installations by 2020, and 112,000 installations in the commercial and public sector.

Heat pump support of up to 4.5 pence/kWh (5.1 eurocent/kWh)

Contrary to initial scheme proposals, air source heat pumps will not be eligible for tariff support from the outset of the scheme, which will provide the following support levels to heat pump owners in the non-domestic sector for the actual renewable heat output:


Eligible technology Eligible size Tariff rate (pence/kWh) Tariff duration Support calculation method
Small ground source heat pumps, water source heat pumps, deep geothermal Less than 100kWth 4.5 20 years Metering
Large ground source heat pumps, water source heat pumps, deep geothermal 100kWth and above 3.2 20 years Metering


Support for district heating with heat pumps

District heating using large heat pumps such as ammonia heat pumps is also eligible for the RHI.

On the other hand the cooling function of heat pumps will not be eligible for the RHI, neither will exhaust air heat pumps.

Regarding the eligibility of air source heat pumps, the Government is considering to include them in Phase 2 of the scheme in 2012. Moreover a separate tariff for deep geothermal that is currently treated like ground source heat pumps is under consideration.

Installations since July 2009 could be eligible

Payments will be based on the metered amount of heat generated and will be paid for 20 years for eligible technologies that have been installed since 15 July 2009, with payments for each kWh of heat produced.

The British Government yesterday, 1 December 2011, published its Carbon Plan, which sets out its long-term plans to meet its carbon targets and focuses on viable ways of getting to a 50% cut in emissions by the mid-2020s. “The 2020s will require a change of gear. Technologies that are being demonstrated or deployed on a small scale now will need to move towards mass deployment. By 2030, up to around a half of the heat used in our buildings may come from low carbon technologies such as air- or ground-source heat pumps”, writes Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the foreword of the publication.

 



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