Climate change minister Greg Barker has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to renewable heat and combined heat and power (CHP) as part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix.
Barker said there was a need to raise ambitions and place the renewable heat sector “at the centre of the UK’s drive towards green growth”.
He said the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had committed to providing extra financial incentives through the renewable heat incentive (RHI), the government’s major subsidy for renewable heat.
Barker, speaking at the Annual Heat Conference, hosted by the Combined Heat and Power Association and the Energy Institute, also pointed to the construction of biomass CHP plants during the coalition Government’s term, such as London’s first’s CHP facility at Southwark, run by waste management company Veolia. The plant officially opens on 29 November.
Barker added that DECC was introducing an annual review of the state of competition in the electricity market.
He also said electricity market reform (EMR) will provide “bankable certainty for new investors through our energy market reforms, which are set to unlock £110bn of low-carbon investment”.
Barker described his vision of an explosion in consumer choice of energy providers, where companies, communities, public sector and third sector organisations take the opportunity to generate their own energy and start to export their excess on a commercial basis.
He added: “I want to see CHP and renewable heat at the heart of this.”
He said this would only be possible by further reducing red tape in the energy industry.