Government Extends non-domestic RHI

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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced an extension to the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) from 6 to 12 months, for projects delayed by Covid-19.

Eligible applicants will be able to submit an ‘extension application’ in March 2021, to gain an additional 12 months – to allow them up to 31st March 2022 to put together a full application for non-domestic RHI accreditation. As part of the application, there will be an additional requirement for evidence that the applicant had invested capital in the project prior to the extension, in order to ensure that this measure is targeted at those most in need of aid as a result of COVID-19 related delays.

The announcement has been welcomed by industry leaders, with Mark Lebus, Chairman of the UK Pellet Council, commenting:

“This latest news by the Government is very much welcomed by the biomass heat industry and is one that will provide some level of reassurance and support during what has become a very uncertain time. We have worked continuously and closely with Government officials and various departments, particularly BEIS, over the last year to discuss the sector, its huge potential, and to provide feedback on proposed policy, therefore we’re pleased that this twelve month amendment has been made in the short-term.

Heat decarbonisation, especially in rural, non-urban areas, has become one of the most challenging aspects of UK net zero policy with biomass heat, as part of a technology-neutral mix, having the potential to create more green jobs, a greener economy and significantly reduce carbon emissions for the majority of off-grid households and businesses.

We hope to continue working closely with BEIS to create a clear and positive path forward for biomass heat, especially where it is identified to be the most suitable solution for homes and commercial buildings.”

Frank Gordon, REA Head of Policy, said:

The provision of extension applications for the non-domestic renewable heat schemes is a welcome decision from Government. It will allow hundreds of businesses to continue to decarbonise their heat requirements, despite Covid-19 delays which threatened the completion of their projects before the end of the Renewable Heat Incentive in March 2021. We are also pleased to see Government working closely with industry to tweak the design of this extension, responding to feedback on the original proposals, helping to ensure the measures are as successful as possible.

However, it should not be forgotten that this measure only helps projects that are already in the pipeline. There remains a growing renewable heat policy gap, with no firm indication yet on how new industrial or business heat decarbonisation projects are going to be delivered once the Renewable Heat Incentive is closed for good next year.”

The complete government document is available to view here.

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