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UK biomass campaign gets government support

Aug. 26, 2011, London, UK – The UK Energy Minister says he is confident that the UK can deliver 6 GW of electricity from biomass by 2020, as set out in the renewables roadmap, after the Renewable Energy Association launched its “Back Biomass” campaign in late August 2011.


August 26, 2011
By Argus Media

Aug. 26, 2011, London, UK – UK Energy
Minister Charles Hendry has said he is confident that the UK can deliver 6 GW
of electricity from biomass by 2020, as set out in the renewables roadmap,
after the Renewable Energy Association (REA) launched its “Back biomass”
campaign this week.

The campaign, launched with Hendry's
support, aims to encourage the government to favour the use of biomass for heat
and power production in its upcoming decision on the current renewable
obligation certificate (ROC) banding review.

“We want a balanced energy portfolio and we
want biomass to play a central role in this,” Hendry says. “Biomass electricity
is both predictable and controllable, and I am very interested in the potential
for co-firing and conversion. I am confident that the bioenergy industry can
deliver our ambition for around 6 GW of biomass electricity by 2020, as set out
in our renewables roadmap. The very clear sustainability criteria we now have
in place will mean we know where biomass has come from and how it has been
grown.”

Biomass developers in the UK are hoping the
government will increase the number of ROCs a dedicated biomass plant will
receive for each MWh of electricity produced over 1.5/MWh. “The biomass sector
is calling on government to ensure that decisions taken not only provide
sufficient levels of support to leverage the huge sums of private investment
required, but are taken on time. Until industry and investors receive clarity,
many projects hang in the balance,” the REA said in a release.

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The REA has teamed up with UK generator
Drax, German utility Eon, and UK developer Res to launch the campaign.

The UK's Department of Energy and Climate
Change (DECC) says it will be “late August at the earliest” before it announces
proposed revisions to ROC banding levels. The announcement came amid reports
that a decision on ROC banding has been delayed until the end of 2011.

DECC is seeking further feedback from the
UK's independent Committee on Climate Change to advise the UK government on
setting carbon budgets. It has also been suggested that the government will
await feedback and input from its new UK bioenergy strategy, which is due to be
set up later in 2011.

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