The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has warned that £140 million of investment in biomass combined heat and power (CHP) projects have been put at risk after the UK Government tabled an amendment to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) claimed the cut in support for CHP plants that use less than 20% of their fuel for electricity production would have “no impact on the private or voluntary sectors”.

But a survey by the REA of 36 companies involved in CHP found that 25 thought the changes would have a “very negative” impact, while a further eight believed the impact would be “negative”.

The REA also criticised BEIS for not consulting with the industry about the proposed changes and for planning to introduce them with only 21 days’ notice.

Calls for a grace period

James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the REA, said: “More than £140m-worth of investment is affected by this change, with a planned renewable energy capacity totalling 203MW heat and 20MW power.

“The industry was preparing for a new tariff structure from spring 2017, as outlined in the recent RHI consultation, but no one was warned about this change.

“We are therefore calling on BEIS to withdraw the amendment until a proper consultation has been launched to examine the impact on these projects, or introduce a grace period for those who can demonstrate that they have already made a significant financial commitment.”

> Read the REA's announcement