COMMENTING on today’s announcement of £860 million to encourage the use of renewable heat in UK businesses and homes , WWF Scotland’s climate policy officer, Dr Sam Gardner, said:
“Space and water heating in homes and offices accounts for a half of Scotland’s total energy use. Yet, despite its almost total reliance on fossil fuels, heat has long been neglected as we have focused on electricity.
“This announcement marks a welcome change in the support for renewable heat. However, it is very disappointing that most home owners will have to wait another year to fully benefit from the scheme. Across Scotland, thousands of households are locked into fuel poverty and exposed to the harsh consequences of ever increasing oil and gas prices. The UK Government should have made this support available to all right from the start.
“Scotland’s generation of renewable heat currently languishes at around two per cent – a long way short of the Scottish Government’s renewable heat target of 11 per cent by 2020.”
Dr Gardner added: “In the run-up to the Holyrood election, we call upon all political parties to step up their commitment to renewable heat, including helping local authorities identify the scale of opportunities for renewable heat across the community and public sector by 2012.”
WWF also expressed extreme disappointment that the announcement also includes heat from municipal incinerators. The environmental group warned that money vitally needed to convert businesses and homes to renewable heat will be wasted on subsidising incineration and will create an incentive to build more incinerators, instead of saving energy by reducing and recycling waste.
Dr Gardner said: “Applying any of the heat incentive to subsidise waste incineration is entirely at odds with efforts to move towards zero waste and risks undermining recycling and reuse.”
Media contact: Mandy Carter on 01350 728200
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 World’s first Renewable Heat Incentive launched to reduce emissions (Government Press Notice). Announcement includes:
• £860m government scheme expected to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat;
• Incentive to increase number of industrial, commercial and public sector installations by seven times to 2020
• A full system of RHI payments will be available to households from October 2012;
• In the interim, more than a quarter of the first year’s budget to be guaranteed for up to 25,000 household installations through a ‘RHI Premium Payment’ to encourage take-up;
• 150,000 existing manufacturing, supply chain and installer jobs to be supported
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Contact: Mandy Carter
Phone: 01350 728200