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Northern Ireland to end renewable heat subsidy

08 Feb 2016 17:38 GMT
Northern Ireland to end renewable heat subsidy

London, 8 February (Argus) — The budget for Northern Ireland's renewable heat incentive (RHI) subsidy scheme has been "exhausted", according to the department for enterprise, trade and investment (Deti). The domestic and non-domestic schemes will close to new applications as a result.

The domestic and non-domestic schemes have experienced "significant uptake in the past 12 months", Deti minister Jonathan Bell said, which has diminished the available budget for new applications.

The primary objective of the RHI was to increase the uptake of renewable heat to help meet the Northern Ireland's target of 10pc renewable heat by 2020, with an interim target of 4pc by 2015, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Energy Framework. Around 6pc of Northern Ireland's heating needs are now met by renewables, exceeding the interim target, Bell said.

To meet RHI commitments for existing installations, significant additional funding will come from Northern Ireland Executive's budget for the next five years.

"To prevent further overspend, I must bring forward legislation to the Assembly to close both schemes to new applications," Bell said.

The RHI was launched in Northern Ireland's non-domestic sector in November 2012 and was extended to the domestic sector in December 2014. A timeline for the closure of the schemes is yet to be outlined but a follow up statement will be issued in due course, Deti said.