UK NGOs call for action to save "shovel-ready" renewable heat projects

Renewable energy projects in the agri-food sector have been excluded from BEIS’s RHI COVID-19 Extension, undermining Government ambitions to deliver Carbon Net Zero and to "build back better".
calendar icon 12 August 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

Green investments on processing sites will decarbonise the supply chain while boosting local economies, creating green jobs and new skills. But capital costs, complex technology, and development risks for industrial decarbonisation cannot be carried by business alone. The RHI is essential for innovation in the supply of low carbon industrial heat at the required scale and pace. Existing biogas plants on food processing sites have benefited from the RHI and biogas has reduced carbon emissions by at least 30 percent on some sites.

Richard Gueterbock said, “Losing cost-effective industrial projects will undermine UK reduction targets and delay the transition to renewable energy. During the COVID pandemic there was a significant but temporary decline in atmospheric emissions across Europe. For this reason, industrial renewable heat projects must be part of Government ambition to "build back better".

“We need the Energy Minister to take urgent action to reverse the unfair exclusion of smaller projects from the RHI COVID-19 Extension. Without green investments such as these projects, there will be a gaping hole in Government plans for Carbon Net Zero, which would be hugely embarrassing, as the UK is hosting the COP 26 Global Climate Change Conference at the end of 2021.”

Green investments on processing sites will decarbonise the supply chain while boosting local economies, creating green jobs and new skills. But capital costs, complex technology, and development risks for industrial decarbonisation cannot be carried by business alone. The RHI is essential for innovation in the supply of low carbon industrial heat at the required scale and pace. Existing biogas plants on food processing sites have benefited from the RHI and biogas has reduced carbon emissions by at least 30 percent on some sites.

Richard Gueterbock said, “Losing cost-effective industrial projects will undermine UK reduction targets and delay the transition to renewable energy. During the COVID pandemic there was a significant but temporary decline in atmospheric emissions across Europe. For this reason, industrial renewable heat projects must be part of Government ambition to "build back better".

“We need the Energy Minister to take urgent action to reverse the unfair exclusion of smaller projects from the RHI COVID-19 Extension. Without green investments such as these projects, there will be a gaping hole in Government plans for Carbon Net Zero, which would be hugely embarrassing, as the UK is hosting the COP 26 Global Climate Change Conference at the end of 2021.”

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