Lord Marland, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DECC confirmed at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) National Conference (15 December) that the level of the Renewable Heat Incentive will not be announced before Christmas. This is despite previous indications from Government that it would be made public by then.
But the Minister said the June timetable for the implementation of the RHI had “not yet slipped” and he was confident that this would be met. He reiterated the Government’s support for AD, calling it “fundamental to the future of energy and power generation” and pointed to the recently published AD Framework document as a sign of this.
ADBA chairman Lord Redesdale said that while it was “obviously disappointing” that the RHI announcement was delayed, he “welcomed the constructive approach shown by the Minister and the Government more widely”.
He added: “We hope that they [the Government] will continue this constructive dialogue with industry as the Framework Document for AD is put together, and that the RHI level will be announced as soon as possible.”
Also speaking at the conference, DECC senior scientific advisor Tom Counsell referred to the department’s ‘2050 Pathways Analysis’ which outlines the choices and trade-offs that need to be made to ensure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels, while matching energy supply and demand. He added that while AD had the potential to be a “small to reasonably significant” solution it would “never be the dominant energy source”.
Counsell added that one consideration was whether the country would need to import low carbon energy or supplies. Lord Marland later confirmed that in order to meet the 2050 targets “at points along the way we may have to import electricity, we may have to import biomass, we may have to import waste…we are setting into legislation the ability to do that”. But he said he hoped no imports would have to be made.