A consultation issued by DECC has raised concerns from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) that it could halt medium and large biomethane to grid anaerobic digestion plants.
While REA welcomes the intent of the review by DECC to ensure an increasing and increasingly cost-effective contribution of biomethane to low carbon heating and transport using the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), but it worries that this four-week consultation could have the same damage that the review of the Renewables Obligation is having on the large scale solar power sector.
REA says that these proposals could make biomethane projects injecting over 15 million kWh/year unviable. This is half the size of a typical biomethane plant currently registered on the RHI.
All of the biomethane projects currently in development are larger than this, according to REA.
The current level of support for biomethane is 7.5p/kWh, which is well below the Government’s 2 ROC ‘value for money cap’ and REA worries that cutting the tariffs too deep and too fast will mean that biogas will only be used for electricity generation rather than grid injection.
REA chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “It is right that Government looks again at the green gas RHI tariff because the original policy design preceded any actual development in the UK, yet the pace and depth of the changes give real cause for concern.
“Green gas can be injected into the grid and drawn upon at any time for heating or transportation. Shrinking the tariff so it only works for very small plants is simply inefficient in terms of maximising the value of the biomethane feedstocks. The whole industry is going to have to work fast, hard and smart to ensure these proposals help rather than hinder the sustainable growth of the UK green gas industry.”
To view the consultation, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315608/Biomethane_Review_Final_-_FOR_PUBLICATION.pdf