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Biomass operators face losing support payments under new UK regulation

Biomass-based heating system operators in the UK face losing entitlement to payment under the renewable heat incentive (RHI) unless they can ensure compliance with new sustainability requirements coming into effect on 5 October, 2015.

Compliance with the new requirements must be agreed before 5 October to continue receiving RHI payments, according a message issued by the UK energy regulator Ofgem and communicated by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA).

Industry experts have warned that the change may cause difficulties to operators and users.

‘There is a danger that [biomass operators] will be left with an underspecified system that will leave [their] business with high maintenance and service costs in the future,’ says Keith Higginson, marketing manager of liquefied petroleum gas supplier Calor Gas.

Higgins believes the new supply sustainability criteria for biomass, together with the ongoing degression of future RHI payments, could be the ‘beginning of the end’ for the biomass market.

ADBA is holding workshops for operators and users to offer help and guidance on making the necessary changes in time.

The next ADBA workshop will be held at Ofgem’s London office on 20 August.