10 February

On the 1 August 2016 the Government proposed a new power efficiency threshold for Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. There were concerns expressed that applicants were producing a low level of electricity in comparison with their heat output. Following an outcry from the sector this change was softened in January 2017. The Government now proposes to retain the initial power efficiency threshold introduced on 1 August 2016, by increasing the current threshold of 10% to 20%.

This consultation document should have been released ahead of the change made in August 2016. However, it is heartening to see the relatively new department listening to the sector and following the formal consultation process. At a time of  scrutiny, caused by the well publicised issues in Northern Ireland, the sector should look to accept changes that are fair and help manage the RHI budget long term. In general this change looks to rebalance the support for Biomass CHP units and ensure an efficient use of fuel. We welcome any other thoughts from our network.  

In addition three CHP case studies have also been released - available here.

Author - Olly Frankland

Contact - [email protected]