A Renewable Heat Incentive scheme was introduced in the UK in 2011 and is still running. To date it has supported circa 16,500 installations, with 93% of those being biomass installations. The scheme pays a retrospective pence per kilowatt hour (claimed and paid quarterly) for all metered renewable heat used in accredited installations for a 20 year period.
It is expected that the Irish scheme would operate in a similar manner, providing an incentive payment rewarding users for each unit of renewable heat produced and used, based on a unit rate of payment (tariff) applied to metered renewable heat output. The scheme is being set up by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) and will be administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The most recent DCCAE consultation document proposed the following:
- Technologies eligible for support to include:
- Biomass boiler
- Biomass combined heat and power (CHP)
- Biomass direct air heating
- Ground-source heat pump
- Air-source heat pump
- Water-source heat pump
- Deep geothermal
- Anaerobic digestion (AD) CHP
- Anaerobic digestion (AD) boiler
- Biomethane grid injection
- Solar thermal
- Period of support to be 15 years