Biomass and the Renewable Heat Incentive have become buzzwords for the process industries, not least because of the financial incentives on offer for generating heat from biomass or waste residues.
In the past waste would be sent to landfill, but now some manufacturers – of coffee and whisky, for example – exploit the cost-savings of turning their waste products into a valuable source of biomass.
Now the government has doubled its Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariff for large-scale biomass, there has never been a better time to explore the opportunities available for heat generation from biomass.
Launched in November 2011, the RHI scheme for the non-domestic sector provides payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations for the generation of heat from eligible renewable technologies.
The RHI pays participants of the scheme that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings and processes. By increasing the generation of heat from renewable energy sources (instead of fossil fuels), the RHI helps the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for reducing the effects of climate change.
In April 2014, the tariff for large-scale biomass (over 1MW) doubled to 2p/kWh, making it a very attractive incentive for the process industries. Now businesses can reap a significant return on their investment in renewable technology, the popularity of larger biomass boilers is steadily increasing. With our expertise in metering, consultancy services and data acquisition, Endress+Hauser is in a unique position to assist companies seeking RHI accreditation.
There are two main criteria that have to be fulfilled in order to successfully gain accreditation and to receive tariff payments for the heat generated. The first is that eligible heat output has to be determined using RHI-compliant metering. Endress+Hauser manufactures a number of compliant devices for steam, condensate and thermal oils, including the EngyCal RH33 heat calculator which has Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) certification.
We can advise on the most cost-effective solution required to determine the eligible heat output for the application.
Secondly, applicants need to commission an Independent Report on Metering Arrangements (IRMA), in order to verify to Ofgem that they have eligible metering arrangements in place, such as appropriately located and installed meters. Endress+Hauser offers competent professional advice on metering arrangements and our consultants are qualified to provide this independent report.
Although not a requirement for accreditation our RHI reporting software offers simple, cost-effective data collection and automatic reporting solutions. The software tracks eligible payment data on a daily basis, removing the need for manual readings every month or quarter.
In February 2015, University Hospital South Manchester (UHSM) successfully gained RHI accreditation with Endress+Hauser’s help.
UHSM was the first NHS hospital to install biomass steam boilers back in 2010 and began the process of securing accreditation once the scheme was announced. UHSM had struggled to agree a suitable metering arrangement with Ofgem due to the complex steam network supplying heat around the site. But, five months after calling on Endress+Hauser’s expertise in heat and energy measurement and consultancy, the hospital received the news from Ofgem that they had been awarded accreditation.
“Endress+Hauser’s guidance and support was invaluable,” says Mark Foden, UHSM’s Energy & Environmental Manager. “If we had not had their input we might still be in discussions with Ofgem trying to work out what and where to measure! Endress+Hauser’s knowledge of the RHI scheme and how to interpret the regulations made the whole process much more straightforward.”
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