RHI wood heating passes 1 GW of installed capacity

Published:  03 September, 2014

RHI, biomass, wood pellet, wood chip, space heating

The installed capacity of modern wood heating systems qualifying for the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) now exceeds 1 GW, thanks to strong demand from commercial, industrial and public-sector organisations. According to the Renewable Energy Association, there were 4926 wood heating systems accredited under the non-domestic RHI at the beginning of August. The figures include wood pellets, wood chips, briquettes and logs.

A recent analysis by the REA found that wood heating accounted for 56% of investment and over 90% of renewable-heat generation between 2010 and 2014. 55% of renewable heat generated in 2013 was from wood burning.

Of all the forms of low-carbon heating or power generation with significant UK growth potential, wood heating of 1 MW and above is the cheapest in terms of financial support from Government.

Dr Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, said, ‘Thousands of UK businesses have realised the benefits of biomass for delivering low-cost, low-carbon heating — and yet we’ve only just scratched the surface. We want renewable technologies to be the go-go option for all buildings and industrial processes, which will make a huge dent in our greenhouse-gas emissions and greatly reduce our dependence on imported gas. To secure this, the Government must take the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and commit to sufficient funding for the RHI in the next spending round.’

Julian Morgan-Jones, interim chairman of the recently formed Wood Heat Association, said, ‘1 GW of wood heating under the RHI is a major breakthrough. Our industry is growing fast, from boiler manufacturers and installers to fuel producers and distributors. We want that growth to be both successful and sustainable. As well as stability in the RHI, we also need to do more work on upskilling system installers and developing widely accepted standards for all boiler sizes. This is crucial for ensuring that as the industry grows, it maintains a solid reputation for excellent customer satisfaction.’

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