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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

RHI Scheme was ‘a project too far’

Today the report into the RHI scheme was published in which it called the scheme ‘a project too far’.

The Report was launched this afternoon at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, by Chairman of the independent public inquiry, Sir Patrick Coghlin.

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The RHI scheme in November 2012 was set up in order to provide financial incentives for businesses within Northern Irelnad to switch to renewable sources of energy. As of February 2016 the scheme was suspended and was not open since then to further applications.

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lol An investigation into the scheme was launched into the cost controls in the latter part of 2015 and the circumstances relating to its suspension of the scheme in 2016.

In the reports, as well as saying the scheme was a “project too far” and that “the Northern Ireland stand-alone scheme should never have been adopted”, the report also when on to say:

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“The NI RHI scheme was novel, technically complex and potentially volatile, especially because of its demand-led nature and the wide range of variables – such as fluctuating fuel costs – which could affect its operation.

“These features together made the scheme highly risky, yet the risks were not sufficiently understood by all those who should have understood them within the Northern Ireland Government, either at the outset or any time during the life of the scheme.

“Without the necessary resources and capability, DETI should never have embarked on such a novel and complicated, demand-led scheme.”

“Responsibility for what went wrong lay not just with one individual or group, but with a broad range of persons and organisations involved, across a variety of areas relating to the design, approval, management and administration of the NI RHI scheme throughout its life.

“Across those different areas, there was a multiplicity of errors and omissions. There were repeated missed opportunities to identify and correct, or seek to have others correct, the flaws in the scheme.

The sad reality is that, in addition to a significant number of individual shortcomings, the very governance, management and communication systems, which in these circumstances should have provided early warning of impending problems and fail-safes against such problems, proved inadequate.”

The full report can be found at the RHI inquiry website.

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