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Great Britain Feed Law

July 22, 2010
Paul Gipe

Britain Proposes Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Heat


 

Britain's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) plans to introduce a "Renewable Heat Incentive" (RHI) in April 2011. Final comments on the feed-in tariffs have been heard and DECC is expected to take action after consultation with the recently formed coalition government.

The RHI would be the one of the world's first systems of feed-in tariffs for various forms of heat. Home heating accounts for more than half of British household electricity use and the RHI is expected to be a vital part of Britain's effort to meet its target of 15% renewable energy in overall energy consumption by 2020-a target which will be fundamentally difficult to achieve at the current pace of renewable development. Altogether, the renewable heat target is 73 TWh per year by 2020.

Britain's proposal includes a broader range of technologies than any other country, including air, water and ground source heat pumps; solar thermal (DHW), biomass, combined heat and power, biogas, bioliquids and the injection of biogas into the natural gas pipelines.

Compliance and measurement could prove problematic. The amount of heat generated by the equipment is proposed to be estimated or "deemed" when installed. Estimating generation risks overpaying or underpaying for heat actually produced.

As in other feed-in tariff designs, the tariffs have been calculated on the basis of a "reference" installation, meaning that actual returns may vary depending on the actual equipment cost. Thus, projects could be more less profitable than calculated, potentially spurring innovation to "beat" the calculated or "deemed" performance.

As with electricity feed-in tariffs, the program proposes periodic reviews to adjust the tariffs with development of the technology.

Great Britain: Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) under Public Review by Chris Laughton, 04/08/2010.

Consultation on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

 


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