Public Consultation Response
IrDEA has responded to the government's updated proposal on the Renewable Heat Obligation (RHO).
Commenting on the RHO, IrDEA had this to say,
As set out in our submission to the original consultation on the Renewable Heat Obligation (RHO) in October 2021, IrDEA and its members fully support the introduction of the RHO and we welcome the opportunity to engage in this follow-up consultation.
Supporting investment and development in renewable heat is a policy imperative for the national transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient, circular economy. With a renewable heat share of just 5.2%, Ireland is currently ranked last among our European counterparts (Eurostat, 2023b). This must change for Ireland to meet its 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation obligations.
We view the RHO as a much-needed policy lever to incentivise change within an overly fossil-dependent heat sector. However, IrDEA is concerned that district energy has not been named as an eligible source of RHO credits. Such an oversight is a wasted opportunity to see that the RHO aligns with the Climate Action Plan 2023 goal to redirect the heat sector to a combination of district energy and heat pumps by 2050. Every conceivable opportunity must be taken to promote the establishment and growth of district energy systems across the country. One way to do that is to allow district energy networks to sell RHO credits as an income source that could then be invested in the further growth of networks.
IrDEA is hopeful that this submission will help to convince those determining the final make-up of the RHO to reconsider including district energy in the RHO credit system and, in so doing, help to incentivise the heat sector to shift towards its incorporation into their plans for future evolution.
View or download the full submission at this link.