UK Government commits to biomass

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The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced its’ commitment to the use of sustainable biomass as a heat source, especially in rural and off-grid areas, via the publication of a policy statement – a preview to the full strategy, expected in 2022.

The statement, released during ‘Energy Day’ at COP26 in Glasgow, states that the Government “recognises that not every home off the gas grid will be suitable for low temperature heat pumps” and how in most of these cases, “solid biomass will be a suitable alternative”, providing a solution to fossil fuels such as oil, coal or LPG.

It goes on to highlight the important role biomass has to play in the decarbonisation of the wider economy, especially in sectors which are hard to decarbonise, and that it is a “vital resource for the key green technologies’.

Mark Lebus, Chair of the UK Pellet Council, said:

“This is huge progress and a massive step forward towards achieving UK carbon reduction targets. The policy statement encompasses all aspects of biomass as an integral and much needed low carbon technology, not just within future heat decarbonisation policy, but also how the biomass heat sector works hand in hand with sustainable forestry management, creating green jobs and a successful, circular rural economy.

“In particular, The UK Pellet Council and Biomass Heat Works! have worked tirelessly to address, highlight and reiterate the need for biomass for heating, especially in rural off-grid areas. To see this commitment and intention laid out by the Government will secure the role of biomass as an integral part of the renewable energy mix in the long-term.”

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of the REA said:

“The REA firmly welcomes the Government’s reasserted policy commitment to the use of biomass in the UK, recognising the critical role bioenergy plays in delivering the 1.5⁰C Paris Agreement and the UK’s own Net Zero targets. Releasing this Policy Statement on COP26 Energy Day sends a clear signal that the UK remains committed to ensuring that biomass is done right, in line with existing stringent sustainability governance arrangements, both at home and internationally.

“The REA look forward to ongoing engagement with Government to finalise the Biomass Strategy next year, helping to inform a vision for the continuous sustainable use of biomass. In doing so, we also reiterate the importance of building on the success of existing bioenergy sectors, where immediate carbon savings are already being realised across power, heat and transport.

The statement can be read in full here.

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