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Government releases its biomass strategy call for evidence

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The UK Government has published its ‘Biomass Strategy Call for Evidence’ on how sustainable biomass should be sourced and used to best support our net zero target and address climate change.

Those associated with the country’s biomass heat sector are being urged to get involved and help shape biomass strategy and reaffirm the positive role biomass should play in future heat decarbonisation policy.

Specifically BEIS are seeking evidence and views on:

  • The availability of sustainable biomass from domestic and international sources
  • Potential end uses to support our net zero target in the context of availability of sustainable biomass feedstocks
  • The sustainability of the supply chain and opportunities for strengthening existing criteria
  • Accounting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from biomass use
  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage technology and its potential applications to deliver negative emissions
  • Opportunities for innovation to support wider deployment of technologies with potential to support the net zero target

Reacting to the announcement, Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:

“The REA warmly welcomes the publication of the Government’s Biomass Strategy Call for Evidence. Bioenergy is already the largest contributor to renewable energy production across the UK’s heat, power and transport sectors and Government’s commitment to developing an up-to-date strategy is of great importance to realising the energy transition. 

“As a starting point, Government must consider the range of existing bioenergy skills, supply chains and technologies already present in the UK across heat, transport and power. Strategically important innovations, like bioenergy carbon capture and storage, will be delivered by building on the UK’s world leading biomass sectors and adhering to strict science-led sustainability governance. Such developments require the market to direct how biomass is best used, delivering both immediate and future carbon reductions.”

Rupert Ralston of the UK Pellet Council said:

“We very much welcome the Government’s publication of the call for evidence and ask that the UK’s biomass heat industry gets fully behind shaping future heat decarbonisation strategy. We have seen over recent weeks post RHI, reports of consumers returning to fossil fuel systems or replacing old gas and oil boilers like for like, therefore we must demonstrate that biomass has an integral part to play in net zero policy and must be funded accordingly to help people switch to renewable energy.

“Biomass has been the most proven technology over the last decade, and is often the most suited or cost-effective solution for older properties, especially the many thousands of homes located in rural communities.

Government cannot afford to overlook its importance or focus solely on other solutions for short-term gain, especially those in their infancy or lacking supply chain infrastructures, while continuing to subsidise fossil fuel use.”

More information on the call for evidence can be found here.

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