Clearfleau calls for RHI clarification from government

Clearfleau, a major provider of on-site bioenergy plants for food and beverage processing sites, has written to the UK government calling for action on the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The UK government has recently published its Clean Growth Strategy, setting out clear goals to cut the country’s carbon emissions while boosting its economy. Cleafleau states though, that to stimulate business investment in bioenergy and a more circular economy, clear messages need to be sent from Westminster showing ministers are committed to carbon reduction.

Initially scheduled for spring this year, repeated delays connected to the recent General Election and Brexit have seen legislation to reform the RHI pushed back until 2018. The RHI is the government’s principal method for incentivising the generation of renewable heat. The proposed reforms to the RHI restore tariffs for production of renewable heat to previously higher levels.

Earlier this week, ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said as well as threatening the UK’s ability to meet its climate change goals, the delays to the RHI were having a damaging effect on the UK’s anaerobic digestion industry.

Clearfleau has echoed these criticisms, saying the delay “undermines the Government’s credibility over sustainability policy statements”, and pointing out that millions of pounds of investment in AD plants on industrial sites is currently on hold.

The bioenergy plant provider has written directly to BEIS Secretary, Greg Clark, asking for action on the legislation and stating in the letter that the setback is “delaying injection significant volume of biogas generated from industrial residues into the gas grid, limiting the ability to curb UK carbon emissions.”

Clearfleau’s main request is for BEIS ministers to make an announcement urgently to clarify the government’s intention that the RHI will be introduced as soon as possible and the revised RHI rates will be confirmed, as set out back in 2016.

“BEIS should support investment in smaller scale clean energy solutions as part of its industrial strategy.  On site bio-energy projects can stimulate clean growth but still need modest incentive support in the medium term,” said Richard Gueterbock, Clearfleau director, in a statement.

“Unless the RHI rates are confirmed quickly, viable clean energy projects will be lost and the UK food and drink sector will fall behind the competition in other EU countries with regard to low carbon manufacturing.  The biogas industry has asked for a clear statement from BEIS Ministers to confirm that the reformed RHI will be introduced as soon as possible with the new rates that were announced in 2016.”


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