"This is fantastic news for the rural economy because the RHI will provide markets for sustainable heat, drive down carbon emissions and offer new business opportunities to land managers and farmers," said Country Land & Business Association president Harry Cotterell.
Growers can benefit from the £840m payment pot set up to deliver biomass and other renewable heat technologies over a 20-year period. The original launch planned for 30 September was postponed at only 12 hours' notice to resolve the scheme's compatibility with EU state aid rules.
NFU chief renewable energy and climate change adviser Dr Jonathan Scurlock said: "Many farmers and growers expecting to benefit from supplying heat using biomass boilers, solar water heating and ground source heat pumps were left feeling discouraged by the delays. But they will be pleased that, at last, the scheme is finally getting off the ground."