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RHI launch called off at last minute - relaunch hoped for end of November

The launch of the Renewable Heat Incentive, scheduled for September 30, has been delayed by the European Commisison due to concerns over the size of the biomass incentive.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced a last-minute delay in the launch of the RHI, due to concerns from the European Commission that the large biomass tariff is set too high. DECC said it ‘understands that the Commission has given state aid approval for the RHI, subject to a reduction in the large biomass tariff, and we expect to receive written confirmation of this very soon.’

The length of the delay is expected to be around two months, as changing the large biomass tariff will require the RHI regulations to be amended and submitted again to Parliament for approval. Renewable energy specialists said they feared that the delay would mean some potential purchasers opting for fossil fuels instead.

DECC said: “We are unable to launch the scheme as a whole until this process has been completed. Therefore, unfortunately, we will not be able to open the scheme for applications on 30 September 2011 as we had originally planned. Once we have received written confirmation from the Commission, we will make a further announcement about what this means for the large biomass tariff and the timing of the launch. We are committed to launching the scheme as soon as possible to minimise disruption to stakeholders.”

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