The consensus among renewable energy professionals and commentators appears to be that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will become operational in June 2011, and that the detail of the scheme – which heat technologies are included and the levels of financial support on offer – will become known in late February. The
Department of Energy and Climate Change site simply states that the scheme will go ahead in 2011.

Like the feed-in tariffs (FITs), the RHI aims to help the UK meet its emissions reduction targets by boosting the rate of return on clean energy investments. As with FITs, this financial support will gradually be withdrawn through degression (reduction) of the levels of support as uptake of these technologies increases and the resulting economies of scale allow costs to be driven down.