RHI Helps To Promote Biomass Boiler Installations

4th Apr 2012

Whitchurch Community Hospital in Shropshire has one and elsewhere three schools in the county are also considering installing them. Biomass boilers are becoming very popular these days, particularly with the added incentive of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

The RHI offers householders support from tariffs in order to encourage the installation of renewable energy heating systems. As a result there has been a growth in installations of biomass boilers right across the country. Most recently Anesco announced that it was offering free boilers, with installation and maintenance costs paid for by the RHI.

At present almost half the energy used in the UK is for heating, both buildings and water. Government figures estimate that around £33 billion will be spent on heat throughout the country this year, the majority of which will be generated from burning fossil fuels. The government’s 2011 carbon plan stressed that this figure must be reduced to near zero if the UK is to reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 figures by 2050.

“Cutting emissions from the way we generate heat is essential if we are to meet our climate change and renewables targets” says Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary.

“Many towns, cities and communities across the UK are already switching from fossil fuels to low carbon forms of heating like biomass, heat pumps and solar thermal. I want to give the opportunity to others to follow the pioneers so that, in time, our buildings are no longer dependent on burning fossil fuels for heat but using affordable and reliable alternatives to help create a flourishing, competitive low carbon manufacturing industry.”

It’s no wonder then that the government is focusing on energy efficiency and the RHI, along with the forthcoming Green Deal scheme to improve household insulation, is very much an important part of the strategy. Over the next few years the government intends to build the supply chain and support innovation in order to promote the uptake of low carbon heating. It will then attempt to create supportive frameworks which grow the renewable economy while reducing costs.

The aim is to secure a bigger share of the market for renewables in a domestic heating sector which will be worth £2 billion by 2015. Given that two thirds of domestic housing requirements for 2050 has already been constructed this means that the supply chain in renewable heating, along with innovations such as smart metering, will occupy an increasingly important place in the economy.