Scottish Renewables warns UK Government renewable heat plans are counterproductive
UK Government consultation over the future of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) closes
Scottish Renewables has warned UK Government plans to change renewable heat support are “counterproductive, and will significantly impact the industry”.
With the UK Government’s consultation over the future of the renewable heat incentive (RHI) closing, Scottish Renewables has raised concerns over changes to tariff rates, the introduction of a budget cap, and the removal of support for solar thermal panels from the scheme.
The Committee on Climate Change last year warned that the UK is on course to miss its 2020 ambition of meeting 12 per cent of heat needs from low-carbon sources.
Policy Manager Stephanie Clark said: “Changes proposed in the RHI consultation will limit opportunities across the board. They will also disproportionately impact the public sector, which has been the driving force behind a number of renewable heat projects in Scotland.
WWF Scotland's climate and policy officer Fabrice Leveque said the changes proposed by the UK Government highlight the need for the next Scottish Government to introduce a Warm Homes Act.
He said: “With less than four percent of our heating needs for homes and building currently met from renewable sources, we need to see more support to increase the uptake of renewable heat technologies not less.
“The changes happening at Westminster underline why the next Scottish Government must bring forward a Warm Homes Act, to encourage investment in district heating, protect consumers, and encourage energy efficiency. Growth in district heating could help reduce emissions, help tackle fuel poverty and create a significant new source of jobs for Scotland.”
Clark said both the UK and Scottish Governments are likely to miss their renewable energy targets.
“We urgently need a strategic heat policy which includes support for a range and mix of technologies.
“The particular strengths of solar thermal panels – which are now at risk of having their support removed – include negligible running costs, and that they can be added to existing heating systems.
“They also work effectively in built-up urban areas and on smaller roofs, broadening the opportunities for homes to invest in renewables.”
Currently less than five per cent of UK heat needs come from low-carbon sources.
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