BEIS announces unexpected cut to renewable heat support
Late last week, the recently-formed Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced a surprise cut to renewable heat support – which could potentially put more than £140million of low-carbon energy investment at risk.
In a dramatic move, BEIS addressed Parliament with their proposed changes to the support scheme for renewable Biomass Combined Heat & Power (CHP) without any prior public consultation or warning to the industry.
Under the proposals, some unfortunate parties, such as Biomass CHP units that use less than 20 per cent of their fuel for electricity production, could lose support with just 21 days’ notice, should they apply on or after 1 August 2016.
Critics have said that BEIS’ surprise cut could further damage investor confidence, in an industry already deemed fragile since the disbanding of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in favour of the new BEIS, which a number of MPs have labelled ‘bad news’ for the future of Britain’s battle against climate change and a ‘downgrading of energy policy’.
Research commissioned by the REA, probing the potential impact of BEIS’ changes found that 24 out of 36 companies surveyed thought that the changes proposed to Parliament would have a “very negative” impact on their operations.