Somewhat predictably, an announcement was made late last year that the RHI tariff for domestic biomass installations was to be reduced by 10 percent from 01 January because accreditations have exceeded the well published ‘trigger point’. Now I know that this will be met by howls of despair by all those with an interest, including us at Plumb Center, since anything which may be harmful to a fledgling growing market is not desirable.
However, perhaps we can take a longer term view and celebrate the fact that to have exceeded the trigger point then the market must have grown faster than expectations. Secondly, a measured view of the biomass market shows that after degression there is still a very good economic case for fitting a system as opposed to fitting a more conventional replacement. Thirdly, and perhaps most crucially, we never want to get into a situation where a market has to have almost permanent financial support in order to prosper. We certainly need some incentives to create consumer interest, to increase volumes and to give installers and manufacturers some degree of confidence that there will be sustained demand and economic returns to make investment decisions.
As consumer awareness increases, the year ahead should bring us evidence of further uptake in other technologies and hopefully we will see heat pumps and solar thermal subject to degression too!