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Renewable Energy - Forestry

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Renewable Energy - Forestry

What is this about?

To encourage forestry businesses to install small scale renewable energy capacity, mainly for own consumption as a way to help to combat climate change and improve business viability.

What will this achieve?

  • Improved business efficiency
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Help to develop a local sustainable energy supply

What you can do?

Two distinct elements:

  1. Purchase and install a renewable energy system up to 250kW. In exceptional circumstances, applications for installations over 250kW will be considered, where applicants can demonstrate the generation capacity is primarily for use on forestry related activity.
  2. If installing biomass boiler, the purchase of supply chain or specialist equipment to harvest and process woodchips, pellets or logs.

Who can apply?

Primary forestry businesses

Eligibility Criteria

  • 51% or more of the energy produced would need to be used to carry out or directly support forestry activities. Applicants will be required to demonstrate this e.g. by providing meter readings of power consumed or details of the amount of fuel purchased over a given period.
  • The ability to receive a grant for a renewable energy installation and also benefit from the feed in tariff is being phased out. You will also be unable to benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive if you receive a grant for the installation - See below for more details.

What technologies and or equipment are supported?

  • Small scale wind turbines
  • Hydro-electric turbines
  • Solar panels
  • Automated woodfuel boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Solar water heating
  • Anaerobic digestion equipment using slurry and other agricultural by-products in the production of energy
  • Specialist equipment for harvesting, pre-use processing (e.g. dryers, chippers, pelletisers), quality assurance (e.g. for checking moisture content, chip size, etc) and handling.
  • Supply chain equipment

Which products and installers can I use?

  • If installing a Micro renewable energy system (defined as up to 50kW electricity generating capacity or 45kW heat capacity) the product and the installer must both be accredited, under the UK wide accreditation system called the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)
  • The exception to this is for hydro installers, where an accreditation scheme has not yet been established. Subject to confirming that more than one quote has been obtained, work can be carried out by local expertise under the supervision of a qualified advisor who can sign off installations to confirm that appropriate standards have been met
  • Details of installers and products can be obtained from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme website http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/ or on 020 7090 1082.
  • Independent advice on all aspects of installing renewable systems can be obtained from your local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512 012 or via their website at www.energysavingtrust.org/schri/household/how.cfm

Technical requirements for biomass installations

  •  Boilers of over 50kW electricity or 45KW heat capacity will generally only be supported if they are on the Energy Technology List of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme. This is to ensure that we are only supporting boilers of a particular standard.  If not on the list then we would seek more information on the specification to ensure the boiler meets these standards.
  • If located in a Smoke Control Area you must install an exempt appliance

What costs could be supported?

Purchase and installation of equipment, including construction, upgrading or development of infrastructure.

  • competitive quotes should be obtained. If, however, you are seeking grant support towards a specialised piece of equipment then 1 quote is acceptable. Please see the guidance on quotes and estimates for more information.

Rate of support?

  • Up to 50% of eligible cost in Less Favoured Areas (LFA).
  • Up to 40% of eligible costs in non-LFAs.

Inspections/verification

  • All final claims must be accompanied by relevant invoices.
  • You must allow any person, duly authorised by the Scottish Government, to have access to allow an inspection to take place. An inspection may take place at any reasonable time either before or after completion
  • If applicable, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme list of registered installers will be checked
  • If applicable, the criteria set of good quality CHP Programme will be verified for compliance
  • If located in a Smoke Control Area must install an exempt appliance and this licence must be verified

Technical Guidance

Important Update on the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) and grants

The FITs scheme is intended to replace, not supplement, public grant schemes as the principal means of incentivising small scale, low-carbon electricity generation..

Until now generators have been allowed to benefit from both FITS and a grant from a public body where developments meet state aid de minimis requirements. However the UK Government has introduced changes to ensure value for money for consumers by avoiding double counting (installations that receive both grants and FITS would be getting a double benefit). It feels that if allowed to continue, the de minimis threshold would have the effect of making the combination of FITS and grants the rule rather than the exception.

Therefore the UK Government has introduced the Feed in Tariff Amendment Order 2011 which comes into effect from 30 May 2011. The Order states that the de minimis exemption will only apply where the grant has been made before 1st July 2011 for an installation that is first commissioned before 1st October 2011. All renewable installations installed and commissioned after those dates will not be able to benefit from a grant and be eligible for the Feed in Tariff. Therefore, if you decide to accept a grant, after 1st July 2011 you do so on the understanding that you will not be able to qualify for the Feed in Tariff.

This will not have any effect on installations that have already been accredited for FITS using the de minimis exemption.

Ultimately it is Ofgem who will determine whether installations are eligible for the FIT and applicants should contact Ofgem if they require further clarification on the eligibility of a proposed scheme. 

Further information is available on Ofgem's website at www.ofgem.gov.uk/sustainability/environment/fits/pages/fits.aspx

Eligibility for the Renewable Heat Incentive

You cannot receive a grant which contributes to the direct costs of an installation and receive the Renewable Heat Incentive. 

 However, under the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2014 that came into force on 28 May 2014 you will be given the option to pay back your grant and instead receive support under the Renewable Heat Incentive.