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The Renewable Heat Incentive’s Effect on the Carbon Footprint

Throughout human history, there has been an uneasy global relationship between energy and the means to produce it. In most cases, fossil fuels have been the source of first and last resort, whereby portions of the planet have been sacrificed in order to meet civilization’s hunger. This is no longer the easy option it has been in the past, due to increased knowledge about the potentially devastating effects of such blind plundering. Terms such as carbon footprint, greenhouse effect, and unsustainable energy cycle have rapidly overtaken the contemporary discussion.The questions raised by demand practical answers, if both quality of life and planetary health are to be properly addressed in the long term.

Great Britain, admirably, is moving well ahead of the international curve with its Renewable Heat Incentive, in which several serious issues may find national resolution. The first concern is to provide impetus for the overall reduction of fossil fuel consumption, therefore slowing depletion of those resources. A second factor sparked in the Incentive is creativity, particularly in the use of solid and gaseous biomass, solar thermal energy, on-site biogas, ground and water source heat pumps, geothermal energy, and even direct injection of biomethane into the existing grids in order to supplement current sources. Beyond this, at the center of it all, is the potential to save or even generate money, something both businesses and households sorely need in the current economic climate.

Phase One of the Renewable Heat Incentive began in September of 2011. The largest businesses have been targeted first, and a moderate amount of Government financing has also been set aside for individual households. Both tariffs and UK funds are being made available to those who choose to add any or all of the renewables to their repertoire, and an organised monitoring system will be put in place to meet the need for exact measurement during the shift.

Phase Two, scheduled to coincide with the implementation of the Green Deal in the fall of 2012, will be a gradual broadening of the policy to include a much larger cross-section of the country’s heat consumers.

In both phases, application will be conducted through Ofgem E-Serve and the Energy Saving Trust. Contacting them directly will help one navigate the process to best individual effect.
The idea is that this makes projects like installing geothermal ground source heat pumps more affordable as schemes like this often have really high set up charges.

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