The Government has published draft amendments to both its domestic and non-domestic renewable heat incentive schemes (RHI). The intention is to make sure support for biomass and biogas is sustainable. RHI participants need to be aware of two criteria (to be introduced in autumn 2015) which will need to be adhered to, in order to continue to benefit from government payments under RHI.

British one pound coin

The first is that RHI participants must meet a greenhouse gas emissions target for the fuel used. For the mathematically inclined the target value is calculated as follows:

RHI greenhouse gas calculation



For those looking for the quick answer the target is a 60% greenhouse gas saving against the EU fossil fuel average, currently 34.8g of CO2 equivalent per megajoule of heat generated or gas injected into the grid.

Secondly, the government are introducing a land criteria on where biofuels are sourced from. For wood fuel this is will mean sourcing fuel from a Biomass Suppliers List accredited supplier. For other types of biofuel the intention is to use land criteria used in the Renewable Energy Directive. For energy crops, they will have to meet the requirements of the Government’s Energy Crops Scheme.

The key point is to consider the sustainability of your biomass and biogas well in advance of the autumn introduction, to ensure that your RHI scheme does not lose out on potential income when the changes are introduced. This will no doubt be a point of discussion at the Scottish Renewables Low Carbon Heat Conference 2015 at Perth Concert Hall on 28 April 2015.

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