There are many ways in which the industrial sector can benefit from renewable energy technology and with the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in place to help the commercial sector get started, there has never been a better time to invest in a renewable energy system.
RHI was set up by the government to encourage all areas of the non-domestic sector to install renewable energy technologies to help meet strict EU targets to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). The scheme offers a financial incentive for installing a renewable energy system and includes biomass, some types of ground source and air source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomethane. Payments start to accrue from the date of accreditation of the installation, based on the system’s heat output, and are payable for up to 20 years. Companies who do not sign up for the RHI scheme might still be paying for it via taxes added to energy bills so it makes financial sense to apply.
Companies investing in solar PV may be eligible for the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, meaning that they could potentially receive payments for any electricity they generate with any additional electricity generated being sold back to the National Grid. The rate at which FITs are paid is set by the date of installation. When a company joins the scheme, return is guaranteed at the same rate (index-linked) for 20 years but this is intended to reduce every three months for new entrants.
As well as the financial incentives available, the potential benefits to industry in installing renewable energy technology include reduced fuel bills, savings in energy and satisfying companies’ shareholders and customers’ expectations to reduce their carbon footprint.