UK Announces Renewable Heat Program

On March 10, the UK launched the world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) program to "revolutionise the way heat is generated and used in buildings and homes. This is the first financial support scheme for renewable heat of its kind in the world," says the government announcement.  

"At a time when we can see many problems with relying on a rapidly changing world and continuous reliance on oil and gas, we are proposing to put in place a key foundation stone of our energy future where both carbon reduction and energy security are assured," says the annoucement. 

Regulations which underpin this scheme still need to be approved by Parliament this summer, after which the program will be formerly launched. 

The UK government will invest $7.2 billion by 2020.  It will start by offering $1.4 billion in subsidies to install equipment such as heat pumps, biomass boilers, and solar thermal. 

A feed-in program will pay tariffs ranging from 1.90 pounds per kilowatt hour (kWh) for small biomass projects to 8.50 pounds/kWh for solar thermal projects under 200 kWh. The tariffs extend for 20 years to the industrial sector. 25,000 residential projects will be eligible for Premium Payments to help cover the upfront costs. 

Meanwhile, the EU proposed a low carbon roadmap to get it back on track to cut energy use 20% by 2020. It would require €270 billion (~$375 billion) in investments a year in green technologies, transportation, infrastructure, and environmental protection. The investment would be paid back through the reduced need for oil and gas imports.

See details on the Renewable Heat Program:

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