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PRESS RELEASE: Renewable heat legislation delay threatens climate goals

[​Please note that ADBA’s press release dated 25/10/17 (‘Renewable heat legislation delay threatens climate goals – ADBA’) contained an unintentionally misleading statement. We would like to make the following correction:

Charlotte Morton’s quote ‘I’ve written directly to ministers at BEIS urging them to rethink their decision to delay the legislation further’ is misleading as the decision to delay the RHI legislation would not have been one taken by BEIS ministers.

To clarify, ADBA believes that the decision to delay the RHI legislation lays not with BEIS ministers but rather with the government as a whole, as the government is able to prioritise which pieces of legislation are tabled when. We apologise for making an inaccurate implication, and accept that we should have been more careful and accurate in the language used.]


  • Legislation on Renewable Heat Incentive delayed yet again due to Parliamentary backlog
  • Government struggling to meet targets to decarbonise heat
  • Further delay threatens building of AD plants that produce renewable heat

The Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has described the government’s decision to further delay the tabling of legislation to support renewable heat generation as ‘a significant threat to the UK’s ability to meet its climate goals’.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed at the end of last week that the tabling of legislation to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the government’s principal mechanism for incentivising the generation of renewable heat, will now not take place until the beginning of 2018.

The legislation was originally due to be voted on in the spring of 2017 but was delayed after the government called a snap general election. It was then due to be introduced in the autumn, but has been delayed yet further due to the delay in re-establishing the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, a backlog in the legislative timetable following June’s general election, and a vast requirement for legislation related to Brexit.

The proposed RHI legislation would restore tariffs for the production of renewable heat to previously higher levels, facilitating the construction of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants that can produce renewable biogas, which can be upgraded to biomethane for injection into the gas grid. Millions of pounds of investment in AD plants is currently on hold, waiting for clarity and certainty from government.

AD treatment specialists Clearfleau Ltd have written directly to BEIS Secretary Greg Clark urging action on the legislation, stating that the setback is “delaying injection of significant volume of biogas generated from industrial residues into the gas grid, limiting the ability to curb UK carbon emissions.”

ADBA also understands that BEIS is considering imposing restrictions on the amount of investment in renewable heat that can receive a guaranteed tariff rate. Some AD developers that have invested around £100,000 in reaching the stage where they can apply for a guarantee in reliance on the promised higher tariff rates may therefore face the prospect of missing out on government support entirely.

ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said:

This further delay to the passing of the RHI legislation is another unnecessary blow to a vital industry that can make a large contribution to meeting the UK’s targets for decarbonising heat, to which the government has to date made very little progress. This delay not only puts millions of pounds of investment at risk but on a wider level is a significant threat to the UK’s ability to meet its climate change goals.


I’ve written directly to ministers at BEIS urging them to rethink their decision to delay the legislation further and to reiterate the damaging effect that this further delay will have on the AD industry and its ability to help decarbonise the UK’s gas grid.


We’re also very concerned at the suggestion from BEIS of new restrictions on the number of AD plants that can receive tariff guarantees. BEIS needs to ensure that it doesn’t punish AD for offering a clean and cost-effective way to heat our homes and businesses.

Contact details

Chris Noyce, ADBA PR & Parliamentary Affairs Executive

T: 020 3176 5441      E:

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