Reduced RHI rates highlight opportunities for bigger biomass boilers
Following the sharp reduction in the RHI tariffs for small commercial biomass (less than 200 kW thermal) Peter Solly, managing director of Forest Fuels, believes that the scope for larger installations is more positive. The recent 15% reduction in the tariff for small schemes, with a further 25% due this summer, is due to the strong uptake of commercial biomass on this scale.
Peter Solly points out that the tariff for biomass boilers with a thermal output greater than 200 kW remains unchanged. He says, ‘There remains a large number of industrial and other heat users that could benefit from RHI-supported biomass on this scale.’
Forest Fuels, which has 17 biomass wood-fuel depots throughout the UK, has witness a number of businesses opting for small boilers or so-called ‘cascaded where multiples of 199 kW boilers are used, often not appropriate for their requirements, in order to claim the most attractive RHI payments.
Peter Solly says, ‘We expect the mindset of businesses choosing smaller boilers in order to claim higher RHI payments to change in light of the upcoming reductions, and we anticipate more businesses will seek solutions that specifically suit their heat requirements.
‘In the early days of the RHI businesses have steered clear of bigger boilers, perceiving them to be more complex, expensive, and not as financially attractive. However, we now expect to see increasing numbers of organisations installing systems in excess of 200 kW (thermal). This makes perfect sense, providing the systems have been carefully and specifically designed for each business’s particular needs.’