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Proposal for a Renewable Heat Obligation
Submitted: 1 October 2004
Friends of the Earth, and a number of other organisations including the RPA have been involved in working up the attached proposal for a Renewable Heat Obligation.

An amendment to the Energy Bill was tabled by Andrew Stunnel (see the link below) which was debated in the House of Commons in the final reading of the Bill before it returns to the House of Lords.

Although the amendment was not passed, Stephen Timms, the Energy Minister was very positive on the need to do more for renewable heat, saying

"New clause 19 addresses the issue of a renewable heat obligation, and we have had some interesting discussion of that point. It is an interesting idea and an important issue that we also discussed in Committee. Introducing such a measure, even in the permissive way in which new clause 19 is helpfully drafted, would be rash, given the little time that we have had to give it the serious consideration it deserves. We first need to do some serious analytical work, and we will. I shall meet representatives of several interested parties, including Friends of the Earth, which has rightly been mentioned, to hear how their ideas for renewable heat are evolving.

An obligation approach, as proposed by the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell)—I am pleased to see that he is in his place—may prove to be the best way forward. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has referred to that approach, but other options need to be examined, too. We would need to examine the costs of a support scheme to the consumer and the impact on other policies to tackle fuel poverty. If we excluded the domestic sector from such a scheme, we would need to consider the administrative costs and whether they would be justified for the limited market that would be left.

We would need to consider whether such a scheme would represent good value in terms of the carbon savings; the implications for the heating fuel supply industry; and whether the obligation should be placed on those who sell heat or those who supply fossil fuels for heating. All those issues can be resolved. The question of renewable heat was also raised last month by the European Commission in its communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the share of renewable energy in the EU. The Commission noted that there is no legislation in place at European level to address renewable heat production at present, and that renewable energy in heating has grown slowly over the last seven years. The Commission has yet to come up with proposals on how that issue can best be tackled. "

The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has also recommended a Renewable Heat Obligation, see the link to their report below.

Ilex Energy Consulting has produced a report for DEFRA titled Possible support mechanims for biomass-generated heat see link below.

 Related Web Site(s)
the amendment
Discussion of the amendment in the House of Commons . .
Royal Commission on Enviornmental Report on Biomass
Ilex report

 Associated File(s)
The proposal
RHO_Briefing_8.pdf Download Acrobat ReaderDownload Acrobat Reader 

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