The UK’s Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has launched the world’s first financial incentive of its kind to revolutionise the way heat is generated and...

The UK’s Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has launched the world’s first financial incentive of its kind to revolutionise the way heat is generated and used in buildings.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will support emerging technologies and businesses in Britain, strengthening security of supply by reducing dependence on fossil fuel heating and emissions.

Currently around half of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to produce heat — more than from generating electricity. The RHI will reduce emissions by 44 million tonnes of carbon to 2020, equivalent to the annual carbon emitted by 20 typical new gas power stations.

Over 95 per cent of heat in Britain is currently produced by burning fossil fuel, but with North Sea supplies now in decline leading to an increase in imports, low-carbon alternatives are needed. The new financial incentive will encourage installation of equipment like renewable heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal panels to reduce emissions and support the existing 150,000 jobs in the heating industry.

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