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ESA seeks RHI reform

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called for amendments to the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI).

The trade association welcomed proposals to extend eligibility to include the biodegradable element of commercial and industrial waste streams but said it wanted more focus on distribution and infrastructure.

ESA’s director of policy Mathew Farrow, said: “It is an important recognition of the potential renewable heat these fuels can help generate.

“But the RHI remains too limited in its approach to incentivising new heat projects. The UK’s existing energy from waste facilities are crying out for support to develop new heat distribution infrastructure,” he said.

ESA further highlighted its doubts about RHI’s ability in its response to the consultation. “ESA and its members remain sceptical of the ability of the RHI to deliver new EfW CHP schemes even at the revised tariff level.”

ESA economist Jacob Hayler claimed between 10 and 20 schemes could benefit from the changes. “You’ve got schemes like Nottingham, which could realistically expand the district heating scheme if the economics stacked up. Coventry is another example where investment in distribution infrastructure could deliver a scheme.”

Hayler warned that this was only the first step in terms of affecting investment. “It would have to be complemented by additional policy measures (perhaps with a greater focus on the heat customer side) to realise this potential.”

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