The DCCAE released a 6 page document with outline detail on the scheme development. You can access the full press release HERE. The main points to note are:
- The working description of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has now been changed to Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH).
- The scheme is designed to increase renewable energy in the heat sector by circa 3%.
- The scheme is designed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-domestic heat users at sites not covered by the emissions trading system.
- The scheme will support installations through one of the following support mechanisms:
- An operational support based on useable heat output from renewable heating systems in new installations or installations that currently use a fossil fuel heating system and convert to using the following technologies:
- biomass heating systems;
- anaerobic digestion heating systems.
- An installation grant, of up to 30% to support investment in renewable heating systems that use the following technologies:
- air source heat pumps;
- ground source heat pumps; and
- water source heat pumps
- Other technologies and methods of support continue to be under consideration (including biomethane grid injection) for subsequent phases of the scheme.
- Accredited installations will be supported through a multi-annual payment (for a period of up to 15 years), on the basis of prescribed tariffs. Tariff levels will not be linked to indexation.
- Participants will be required to install approved meters and submit readings on a quarterly basis confirming the amount of renewable heat energy used for eligible purposes.
- The following are the proposed tariffs for the relevant technologies to be supported:
- Accredited heat users must adhere to verified energy efficiency criteria, for the period of support.
- An assigned project budget cap which will apply to each project approved. This will be an upper limit on the level of payment that can be provided to the project in any one year.
- An annual budget cap will be set by the relevant government ministers. Projects that will receive an operational support will only be approved where the annual budget cap is sufficient to meet the sum of the project budget caps for all approved projects.
- The tariffs will be subject to review on at least an annual basis. This review can lead to changes in tariff levels and the addition or removal of tariffs for specific technologies. Such tariff reviews will not impact the tariffs that apply to projects that are already approved and in operation.
|Tier||Lower Limit (MWh/yr)||Upper Limit (MWh/yr||Biomass Heating Systems Tariff (c/kWh)||Anaerobic Digestion Heating Systems (c/kWh)|
In Budget 2018, €7m was allocated to fund the delivery of the first phase of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive. This is expected to come into operation in 2018.
At the Energy in Agriculture event held in Gurteen Agriculture College on August 22nd, Minister Naughten informed the audience that he would bring an RHI proposal before cabinet in September 2017. You can access the full speech HERE. Various points of note made on the day, by the Minister and Frank Groome of DCCAE included:
- The RHI will benefit farmers
- The RHI will include supports for biomass boilers, heat pumps, solar thermal and anaerobic digesters, which will encompass biogas boilers and bio-methane injection into the national grid.
- The scheme will exclude residential use
- A tiered level of payments will apply to each technology. Payments will decrease with the increasing size of the scheme.
- Accredited installations will receive payments for 15 years
- The RHI will be open for applications in 2018
At the Engineers Ireland Annual Conference held in Tullamore on May 4th, Minister Naughtons speech referred to the RHI. In a deviation from the speech script released by the Department, Minister Naughton signalled that something would happen in relation to the RHI, “within the next few weeks”. Click HERE to read the official speech.
A public consultation on the design and implementation of the RHI was open from January 26th to March 3rd 2017. The consultation document published by the DCCAE again stated that “the RHI is expected to be implemented in late 2017”. Click HERE and HERE to see details of this consultation.
Budget 2017 was announced on October 11th 2016 and it included a €7 million fund to cover a Renewable Heat Incentive for large heat users. Click HERE to see Minister Denis Naughten’s response when asked to provide more detail on this proposed RHI.