UK government urged to publish Heat and Buildings Strategy within a month
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has today called on the UK government to publish its Heat and Buildings Strategy within a month following the closure of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (ND RHI).
The REA said that closure of the ND RHI earlier this year has left a “heat policy vacuum”, and called for a “clear and co-ordinated policy framework for heat decarbonisation” to fill the void.
Businesses had been able to apply for financial incentives to increase their uptake of renewable heat under the scheme, which was launched in November 2011, but have been unable to since March.
While urging the government to publish its Heat and Buildings Strategy within a month, the REA said that ministers must clearly set out how they will address the large policy gap for industrial and commercial heat decarbonisation.
The strategy was set for publication last year, but has now been delayed for more than six months following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the REA, said: “The upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy must represent a watershed moment for UK heat decarbonisation by providing an urgently needed clear and co-ordinated policy framework.
“The sector cannot wait any longer – the government must publish the strategy within a month and address the large policy vacuum for industrial and commercial heat decarbonisation that has been left after the closure of the ND RHI.”
The REA also demanded that the strategy have a “multi-technology approach”, with biomethane, clean hydrogen, biomass, heat pumps, deep geothermal and other low-carbon heat technologies all forming a key pillar of the REA’s ‘Strategy for Net Zero’, published earlier this year.
In particular, it wants the government to recognise the role that deep geothermal can play by providing targeted support for the sector after the closure of the ND RHI.
Furthermore, the REA said that it's essential that ministers publish “ambitious plans” to support the deployment of green gases such as biomethane and clean hydrogen.
“There needs to be a multi-technology approach with a recognition that there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” Dr Skorupska continued.
“Biomethane, clean hydrogen, biomass, heat pumps and deep geothermal all need their own dedicated focus and there must be measures that will narrow the price differential between low-carbon systems and fossil fuels.
“The REA’s Strategy for Net Zero set the ambition for renewable and low-carbon heat to be dominant form of heat by 2035, with the UK’s heat demand to be entirely met by renewables by 2050.
“These targets are non-negotiable if the UK is to meet net zero and early action now is absolutely critical.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM