DECC has drawn flak after revealing it is to cut mid-size biomass tariffs under the Renewable Heat Incentive by 5% from 1 July.
Ministers also said today that they are holding a consultation on proposed tariff increases for ground source heat pumps, large biomass and solar thermal technologies under the scheme.
The move on mid-size biomass comes despite the scheme as a whole seriously under-performing and drew criticism.
The Renewable Energy Association said the RHI includes ‘triggers’ which, once breached, lead to a degression in the tariff for new projects, adding that DECC has based these triggers on the deployment it expects for each band of each technology.
REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “We have always argued that the market should determine the relative proportions of different renewables contributing to the target, not the government. Without the aid of a crystal ball, the government is always going to get it wrong. Its aim is to control spending but the end result is market distortion.”
REA head of policy Paul Thompson added: “With the RHI massively under-performing, it’s deeply frustrating that government is about to cut the one technology that is actually delivering. This can only undermine confidence in the biomass heat sector, with serious knock-on effects for other renewables.
“There’s no suggestion that biomass tariffs are too high – it’s just that the real world deployment has not matched DECC’s model. They should make their model fit reality rather than the other way round.”