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Discussion > NI RHI Scandal: MoreU Burn MoreU Earn

Unthreaded was getting a bit blocked by the topic.

Bottomline NI gov set up a schem intended to incentivise industry/commerce to replace fossil fuel boilers with woodchip ones.
They set a subsidy as £1.40? for every £1 of fuel burnt.

Whistleblower revealed the flaw early on, but polticians sat on it until April ?
Then closed the scheme to new entrants.
Incredibly they have made no move to back out of existing contracts which will cost £1.2bn

Media is implicated as they only report the excess £400m cost

Qn now is : Is it fraud or incompetence ?

Dec 19, 2016 at 12:28 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen, the difference between fraud and incompetence in the Green Blobbified Civil Service is that you can get jailed for fraud.

Those that have legally maximised their financial benefit from this scheme, have not been incompetent, or committed fraud, though if they had also helped to develop the scheme .....

Dec 19, 2016 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Saw on lunchtime national News on BBC that there's been a walk out in the NI assembly when a no confidence vote about this scheme.

Personally I'd put it down to incompetence, based on the fact that most politicians in the UK have only ever been politicians and only ever worked in politics. They have no idea about the cost of anything, nor are they capable evaluating any scheme put forward by "experts".

Dec 19, 2016 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mark Hodgson

Sorry, I forgot you dont know Northern Ireland that well. Let me explain the joke. It was a pun on "green".

The population of Northern divided into those who are "Green", who support a united Ireland, and those who are "Orange", who wish to remain in the UK.

There are also greens like myself, concerned about the environment.

I should know better than to attempt humour at BH!

Dec 19, 2016 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic Man

Mea culpa! I shouldn't post at breakfast time when I'm in a grumpy mood after seeing/hearing the latest madness from around the world on the news.

Dec 19, 2016 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Entropic man
Puns involving politics or religion are risky, puns involving both are downright dangerous.

Dec 19, 2016 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Drax news : EU Commission say Drax £100 MWh feed in tariff is OK and won't be over compensation and won't distort wood market.
Draxes takeover of Opus was subject to that approval.

Hmm of course such a big player could distort the US / EU woodchip market.

Dec 20, 2016 at 11:51 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

There's one of those BBC informational pieces on RHI in NI - which seems reasonable as far as it goes.

At the end though there's a curious bit about wanting to know who's getting what.:

Officials from the Northern Ireland Executive will inspect all non-domestic claimants of the scheme and will write to them to seek permission for their names to be made public in a bid to restore public confidence.
Under the regulations governing the scheme, officials can revoke applicants' certification to participate in the scheme.
However, Mrs Foster told the BBC she wants to see the publication of a full list of names of those availing of the scheme.

There is a *public* register / database of RHI and all renewable energy subsidy recipients. The interface is obfuscated / fiddly to drive but as far as I can see - all the required information is in there....

The Ofgem Data Warehouse

The setup for running a query isn’t intuitive and is as I said above - very fiddly / time consuming to do repeatedly - one could be forgiven for thinking that is an intentional feature....

Variable Pitch renewables website has a subset displayed in a web page format - they have direct access to the database I suspect.

Dec 20, 2016 at 5:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Some more articles from BBC Northern Ireland.

2 articles on 16th December

"We've all been burned by the heating scandal"

Political meddling to keep the scam going?

1 article 23rd December

RHI scandal set to cost NI taxpayers £490 million

Dec 26, 2016 at 11:39 AM | Registered Commentertomo

A tiny taste of what allowing the climate consensus to guide policy has in store for us all.

Dec 26, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Help, I'm being ruled by idiots!

Sinn Fein just shut down the Northern Ireland Assembly.

That blocks any remedial action on RHI, any preparation for Article 50 and many other loose ends. No government decisions for two months at a time when a lot needs to be done!

Jan 9, 2017 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, a painful and expensive lesson for Northern Ireland, with possible consequences for all, irrespective of personal politics and/or religion.

Is this the first Government to be toppled by Green Blob Greed/incompetence? Hopefully ALL politicians will learn a lesson.

I appreciate that "Green" has slightly different connotations on the island of Ireland, but "Too Green to be True" should be in the Handbook for Politicians and their Civil Servants, everywhere.

Jan 10, 2017 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

stewgreen, I guess many people, on all shores, can tell that when Martin McGuinness feels the need to resign over a political topic, then there is some heavy shit going down.

Jan 10, 2017 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"Help, I'm being ruled by idiots!"

A propos of our conversations elsewhere you cannot be sued for libel by the government of NI, (who aren't your rulers BTW) because what you've said you believe to be true. Get it now?

Jan 10, 2017 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

micharl hart, he has resigned to force an election. Presumably he considers that to be in his advantage, right now.

I stay clear of Politics in NI, it gets bloody and messy. If Sinn Fein never promoted or benefitted from this latest Green Scam, it is a bold move.

Jan 10, 2017 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

BBC just produced more radio progs about the case
Ash For Cash - The Ethics of the Renewable Heating Initiative

profile did Arlene Foster link

Jan 16, 2017 at 5:02 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Election now called. Chaos instigated by a Green Scam.

Jan 16, 2017 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You know Northern Ireland politics.

Remember Jenkins' Ear. RHI is the excuse for Sinn Fein to bring down Stormont, not the reason.

The d'hondt rules have changed. Under the new rules there will be five elected representatives from each constituency instead of six. This will reduce the Assembly from 108 members to 90.

Sinn Fein hope to gain a higher proportion of seats in the smaller Assembly which the March 3rd election will produce.

Why now? Martin McGuinness is in poor health and would be standing down soon anyway. Resigning in protest, supposedly about RHI, lets SF squeeze the maximum political advantage from his departure.

Jan 16, 2017 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

GC, my comment was tongue-in-cheek. Not a few of Martin McGuinness' political opponents have had to retire due to the suddenly poor health of their knee-caps.

Jan 17, 2017 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart, the problem with "politics" and the operatives in Northern Ireland, is nothing is ever what it seems.

Apparently they are all shocked and surprised by the Green Scam which has precipitated this Election, which must mean that no one saw anything, or heard anything, but privately all sides will point at the others blaming them.

I would agree with EM that this is Political Opportunism, and may cost the population of Northern Ireland rather more than the Green Scam that led to it. It was too Green to be true.

Jan 17, 2017 at 2:19 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Entropic Man - interesting insight. Thank you.

But don't forget that if the NI power-sharing and peace models collapse amidst this mess, it was green bollox what did it (or at least which facilitated it).

Jan 17, 2017 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Golf Charlie, Mark Hodgson

RHI runs fine in the rest of the UK. Indeed, but the "cash for ash" it runs fine here.

This is just the latest in a series of scams pulled by DUP politicians on the make. To use a local colloquialism, even the dogs in the street know it.

Similarly, Sinn Fein and others pretend that there is no IRA, but "They haven't gone away, you know!"

Take this seriously. Well handled , it could b a storm in a teacup. Badly handled, you could see IRA bombs in London again.

Jan 17, 2017 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic Man, I have avoided directing blame at any "Political" Party for the RHI scam, as I think the most likely explanation is that none of them wanted to rock the boat by being labelled anti-Green.

I have never aligned myself with any UK mainland political party.

I agree that dissolving Parliament is political opportunism, and this could get worse. RHI is a political justification, not the underlying cause.

I do take this seriously. Politics in Ireland, both North and South of the border, is a bit of a joke. All sides have their extremist factions, who prefer direct action.

Jan 17, 2017 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

RHI does not run fine in the rest of the UK!

Being paid a subsidy or bung to burn trees is madness.

Jan 17, 2017 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards


What golf charlie and Steve Richards said! I agree with both of them.

I'm concerned about the current situation in Northern Ireland, and will watch the continuing situation with interest and concern in equal measure. I wish those of you in Ulster the very best of luck in what follows (and the rest of us too if it all goes wrong).

Jan 17, 2017 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson