Biomass Heating Industry: Renewable Heat Incentive

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 2016.

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Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Scottish National Party, Inverclyde 12:00 am, 12th May 2016

What assessment she has made of the potential effect of changes proposed in the renewable heat incentive consultation on the biomass heating industry.

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

My Department is currently considering responses to our recent consultation on reform of the renewable heat incentive. As part of this consultation, we have engaged extensively with the relevant trade bodies and industry stakeholders to understand the impact of the proposed reforms, including, specifically, the impact on the biomass industry.

Photo of Ronnie Cowan Ronnie Cowan Scottish National Party, Inverclyde

Currently, the biomass industry directly supports the jobs of 11,500 people, as well as 590 companies, across the UK. With that in mind, will the Minister explain the UK Government’s apparent lack of ambition with respect to the installation of biomass boilers, which will lead to job losses in this sector?

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

I am aware of the importance of the biomass industry to the hon. Gentleman, his constituency and, indeed, Scotland overall. That is why we are consulting on the issue to make sure that we are fair with the money we have and that we deliver best value for taxpayers. Small biomass has an important role to play. The RHI budget is in fact trebling by 2020-21. We remain committed to developing the RHI and biomass, and we will come back with responses in due course.