To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government's January 2019 Clean Air Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) effect on air quality of the Renewable Heat Incentive programme and (b) implications of that effect for the future of that programme.
1 May 2019
Biomass Boilers supported under the RHI scheme must meet strict air quality and feedstock sustainability rules. The air quality requirements ensure applicants for both RHI schemes with a biomass boiler (including Combined Heat and Power) will need to have emissions levels no higher than 30 grams per gigajoule (g/GJ) net heat input for particulate matter (PM) and 150g/GJ for oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which are the two main pollutants.
In the Clean Air Strategy, the Government committed to consult on removing Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme support for new biomass installations in urban areas which are on the gas grid. The Government published the consultation Renewable Heat Incentive: Biomass Combustion in Urban Areas in May 2018, seeking views on a number of proposals including the removal of RHI support for some or all new biomass boilers in urban areas, imposing geographical restrictions on biogas combustion and introducing regular maintenance checks on existing biomass boilers under the RHI. The consultation also contains an assessment of the impacts of this policy change. We will be publishing a government response to this consultation shortly.