Trade bodies call for energy users to be put in driving seat

Renewable organisations have called for feed-in-tariff to be strengthened as part of the government’s new industrial strategy.

The deadline for submissions to the government’s consultation on the strategy closed yesterday (17 April).

The chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), Charlotte Morton, said both the renewable heat incentive (RHI) and the feed-in-tariff (FIT) need to be strengthened if the AD sector is to grow.

“AD has benefited in recent years from government support in the form of the RHI and the FIT, but the short-term and uncertain nature of this support means the growth the industry has seen recently is unlikely to be sustained over the coming years without a further boost from government,” said Morton.

“The RHI still offers a good rather than excellent financial incentive for biomethane-to-grid, while the FIT is likely to be closed to new applications sometime in 2018.

“In our response to BEIS’s consultation on the Industrial Strategy, we’re calling for the 20MW annual cap on the FIT to be removed to ensure that AD can continue to support farming,” added Morton.

“The RHI needs to be revised to ensure support for plants that produce renewable heat, but which were commissioned prior to 4 December 2013 and the biomethane tariff needs to stay around 5p/kWh to stimulate investment.”

The Association for Decentralised Energy’s (ADE) head of policy, Jonathan Graham said his organisation will be calling on the government to “energy users in the driving seat” in its industrial strategy submission, so “we can address the tension between business energy costs, security supply and emissions reduction, and work to resolve them”.

“So, when businesses are investing in efficient generation, they are rewarded with services like demand response,” added Graham.

“We can be support industrial competitiveness and clean energy transition at the same time. Historically, policy always looks to the energy sector to address these issues, but now we’re in a world where energy users are taking a much greater interest in new technologies and solutions.”

“When you look at the twin challenges of needing to decarbonise and needing to help business energy costs down, the industrial strategy provides an opportunity to take those two elements together and look towards business and industry to understand how they can deliver these challenges.”

What to read next