UK gives investors in biomass a boost
October 5, 2012, London, UK – Investors that are interested in converting coal plants to renewable biomass facilities, and those that co-fire a high proportion of biomass with coal, were given a boost today under new plans set out by Energy Minister John Hayes.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has introduced a voluntary reporting process under the Renewables Obligation for these generators. This will minimize regulatory burdens on generators and enable Government to better estimate how much financial support these schemes will need.
“Converting from coal to sustainably sourced biomass is good news for both investors and consumers,” said Hayes. “It provides a new beginning for our existing power stations, enabling them to achieve radical reductions in emissions, whilst providing affordable, secure and clean energy.
“I hope that by setting a simple process, we can help safeguard jobs and encourage new investment in biomass generation.”
Under the new regime, low-range plants burning less than 50 per cent biomass will receive 0.5 tradable renewable obligation certificates (ROCs) per MWh, mid-range plants burning between 50 and 85 per cent biomass will receive 0.6 ROCs per MWh, and high-range will receive 0.7 ROCs per MWh, rising to 0.9 ROCs in 2014.
The government released a fact sheet containing more information on the new ROC regime and the "grandfathering arrangements" for the support plants will receive, including guidance on what happens to the level of support they receive if the plant changes the level of biomass it is burning.
In addition, Hayes introduced a new voluntary reporting scheme for co-firing plants, which he said would reduce "red tape" while allowing the government to track progress in the industry.
Click here to download the DECC fact sheet.