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Ireland allocates €7mn to new RHI scheme

14 Oct 2016 15:10 (+01:00 GMT)
Ireland allocates €7mn to new RHI scheme

London, 14 October (Argus) — The Irish government has allocated €7mn ($7.7mn) to introduce a new renewable heat incentive (RHI) subsidy scheme in its 2017 budget, Irish minister for communications, climate action and environment Denis Naughten said.

The department of communications, climate action and environment (DCCAE) has been assessing the viability of a range of technologies under the scheme, including biomass, geothermal, solar thermal and others. The analysis is coming to a close and a public consultation on technologies and tariff options will open by the end of this year.

The RHI scheme will be open to applications from the non-domestic non-emissions trading scheme sector by the end of 2017, DCCAE said. And after 2017 the budget is likely to be increased and to run for 15 years.

It is likely that a budget management mechanism, similar to the UK's degression system, will be put in place to avoid overspending, DCCAE said. Northern Ireland's RHI scheme had to close to new applications after significant overspending "exhausted" its budget, earlier this year.

Ireland reached 6.8pc renewable heat at the end of 2015 and has a target of 12pc renewable heat by 2020, under the EU renewable energy directive. The government estimates that Ireland will fall around 3-4pc short of this target if new support for renewable heat is not introduced, as a result the RHI scheme is being developed to "close the gap", DCCAE said