Another insane scheme to subsidize the burning of wood unravels.
“November 2012: The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is set up by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in a bid to encourage businesses to switch from oil or gas to wood pellet boilers.”
Just stop and think. They subsidized wood pellets (one of the dirtiest fossil fuels) to get people to switch from natural gas (the cleanest fossil fuel). Not only that … wood pellets produce way more CO2 than natural gas.
“It is part of Northern Ireland’s plan to meet renewable energy targets.”
Ahhh. The scheme relied on the stupidity of people and politicians confusing the term green and renewable with clean and CO2 free.
Sure. Wood pellets are renewable. But they are filthy with particulate matter and they produce 2x more CO2 (or more) than gas.
What went wrong? Can you guess?
“Autumn 2013: A whistleblower contacts the department, warning of flaws with the RHI, which she claims overpays businesses and does not provide an incentive to be energy efficient. Officials at the department look into her allegations but they are dismissed.”
Right. The subsidy pays you more if you burn more wood pellets. To an unlimited amount. If the government promised to pay you 10$ for every 5$ bill you burned there would be mass bonfires of $5 bills.
Summer 2015: Officials move to cut the subsidy paid to businesses, which has no cap, after realising an error in how the initiative was set up means companies could make hundreds of thousands of pounds off it.
The more heat a business generates, the higher the subsidy it is paid, making the scheme bad for both the taxpayer and the environment. For every £1 a business spends on fuel, it gets £1.60 in subsidies from the government.
There is a jump in applications to join the scheme before the changes come into effect.
Read the article … if you can stomach it.