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A transformation in how homes, businesses and communities generate their heat

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) announced last week by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will support emerging technologies and businesses in the UK, strengthening security of supply by reducing dependence on fossil fuel heating and emissions.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:

“Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future.

“This incentive is the first of its kind in the world. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.”


Jon Rae, Head of Vocations and Enterprise says:

The long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will drive a transformation in how homes, businesses and communities generate their heat. It is an ambitious initiative, the first of its kind in Europe, and the previous and current governments must be applauded for seeing it through. It is not without risk and potentially unexpected consequences. But even noting this, the scheme is an important step forward, one with significant opportunity for new forms of community enterprises in the installation, servicing and fuelling of boilers.

To help inform where local opportunities such as these should be focused, two years ago Dartington and Forestry Research initiated a biomass short-rotation forestry trial on non-arable land near Totnes. This project will test the impacts of this method on the ecology and the environment of the area. Much like the DECC announcement yesterday the full positive impact of the scheme is yet unknown. But we hope that both this local project and the RHI will be highly productive, can move through any challenges and make a substantial contribution to both learning and action locally and beyond.


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