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The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom


  • Connor, Peter M.
  • Xie, Lei
  • Lowes, Richard
  • Britton, Jessica
  • Richardson, Thomas


The historical focus of renewable energy policy in the UK, as in most nations, has been on supporting deployment in renewable energy sources of electricity. The adoption of ambitious EU wide targets for renewable energy has forced greater consideration of renewable energy sources of heat (RES-H). The UK pushed ahead rapidly in considering different policy options and legislating a new instrument, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to support RES-H, a form of tariff mechanism designed with the specifics of RES-H in mind, though translation into application has been slow. The evolutionary process which led to the current policy instrument is considered, along with the need to consider other elements to work with it. This represents a new and novel application of policy to an area where there are few examples of large-scale policies which go beyond direct capital subsidy.

Suggested Citation

  • Connor, Peter M. & Xie, Lei & Lowes, Richard & Britton, Jessica & Richardson, Thomas, 2015. "The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 733-744.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:75:y:2015:i:c:p:733-744
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2014.10.056

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mezősi, András & Beöthy, Ákos & Kácsor, Enikő & Törőcsik, Ágnes, 2016. "A magyarországi távhő-szabályozás modellezése. A megújuló energiára alapozott hőtermelés [Modelling policy options in the district heating sector, with a focus on renewable consumption]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1149-1176.
    2. Mignon, Ingrid & Bergek, Anna, 2016. "Investments in renewable electricity production: The importance of policy revisited," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 307-316.
    3. Renaldi, Renaldi & Hall, Richard & Jamasb, Tooraj & Roskilly, Anthony P., 2020. "Experience Rates of Low-Carbon Domestic Heating Technologies in the United Kingdom," Working Papers 16-2020, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Seul-Ye Lim & Seung-Hoon Yoo, 2019. "Will South Korean Residential Consumers Accept the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme? A Stated Preference Approach," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(10), pages 1-9, May.
    5. Hanna, Richard & Leach, Matthew & Torriti, Jacopo, 2018. "Microgeneration: The installer perspective," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 116(PA), pages 458-469.
    6. De Luca, Giovanna & Ballarini, Ilaria & Lorenzati, Alice & Corrado, Vincenzo, 2020. "Renovation of a social house into a NZEB: Use of renewable energy sources and economic implications," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 356-370.
    7. Lowes, Richard & Woodman, Bridget, 2020. "Disruptive and uncertain: Policy makers’ perceptions on UK heat decarbonisation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    8. Renaldi, Renaldi & Hall, Richard & Jamasb, Tooraj & Roskilly, Anthony P., 2021. "Experience rates of low-carbon domestic heating technologies in the United Kingdom," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    9. Yılmaz Balaman, Şebnem & Scott, James & Matopoulos, Aristides & Wright, Daniel G., 2019. "Incentivising bioenergy production: Economic and environmental insights from a regional optimization methodology," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 867-880.
    10. Lowes, Richard & Woodman, Bridget & Fitch-Roy, Oscar, 2019. "Policy change, power and the development of Great Britain's Renewable Heat Incentive," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 410-421.

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