Image to show: UK Renewable heat incentive 2018

Reforms to Renewable Heat Incentive Laid Before UK Parliament After Long Delay

Today the news has broken that at last the much needed, and long awaited reforms to the UK's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) are now moving forward by being put to the UK Parliament. The entire AD industry in the UK has been waiting for 12 months now, for the ability to plan ahead, and as a result very few AD plants have been started in the last 12 months. in fact, the number of 2017 biogas plant starts may be as low as 2 for agricultural UK biomethane upgraded plants.

[box type=”alert” size=”large” border=”full”]May 2018: The RHI green gas tariff has now been reinstated by the UK government! Read all about it on our blog at “New tariffs give green gas industry ‘vital boost’”.[/box]

We repeat the ADBA Press Release below for your information:

Reforms to Renewable Heat Incentive – Anaerobic digestion industry welcomes laying of RHI legislation

Image to show: UK Renewable heat incentive 2018Reforms to Renewable Heat Incentive laid before Parliament after long delay, and ADBA's view is that reforms will ‘give vital boost’ to green gas production in UK.

The UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has today welcomed the laying of legislation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which it says will ‘give a vital boost’ to the production of green gas in the UK.

The proposed reforms to the RHI, a government scheme designed to incentivise the generation of renewable heat, would restore tariffs for heat generation to levels that would stimulate deployment and provide tariff guarantees to give long-term certainty to investors and those generating renewable heat.

Biomethane (or green gas), produced through recycling organic wastes and treating purpose-grown energy crops in AD plants, is one such source of renewable heat that is eligible for support under the RHI.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, said:

“We’re delighted to see the laying of these reforms to the RHI, which the AD industry has had to wait very patiently for over the past year. The introduction of higher tariff rates and tariff guarantees will give a vital boost to green gas production in the UK, which is currently heating over 300,000 homes and displacing almost 800,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent to taking almost a million cars off our roads.

“We now need to see the proposed RHI reforms passed and in force as soon as possible to allow the AD industry to decarbonise the gas grid and reduce our dependence on natural gas imports from unstable regions of the world.”

Having now been laid before Parliament, the RHI reforms will face six to eight weeks of Parliamentary scrutiny before approval. The regulations will then become law the day following approval, when the Minister responsible signs the statutory instrument.

The reforms were originally proposed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in December 2016 but were delayed by last year’s snap general election and Brexit-related legislation dominating the legislative timetable throughout 2017.

Photo of AD plant: Courtesy of Future Biogas.

Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) website:

RHI legislation:

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  1. Reply

    Will the lower ‘crop cap’ affect anaerobic digestion plants? What about pea crop waste. no doubt that will be capped?

      • biogasman
      • February 22, 2018

      Sorry. Can’t help you on that one.

  2. Reply

    All this news has been about large farm digesters, but medium biogas systems with volumes ranging from 50 m3 upward for cattle, pigs and/or poultry can still be built using the Chinese and Indian designs freely available. Of course this size digester is not just the domain of farmers, and restaurant owners or collectors of food waste could construct a digester as their waste products a perfect feedstock. Also, the containerized Green Box Biogas Plant was developed specifically for the mid-scale market. This type should be receiving the subsidy in UK.

    • Ashley
    • February 21, 2018

    If you really expect higher tariff rates and tariff guarantees you don’t know much about this UK government’s history. Just go research what they have done so far, and you’ll see what I’m saying. Good site generally but this idea. Well you know what I think.

    • Josh Fleming
    • February 22, 2018

    Is there any real hope that they will restore tariffs for heat generation “to levels that would stimulate deployment and provide tariff guarantees to give long-term certainty to investors and those generating renewable heat”. I am reminded of the rubric on all investment adverts which says, “past performance is no guarantee of what will happen in the future”. But, I doubt it applies to politicians, who seem to be the opposite much less willing to change their tight-fisted nature when it comes to the biogas industry and small farms.

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