Seven trade groups representing suppliers & customers of biomass-based heat & power have welcomed the government’s plans to speed up Britain’s adoption of biomass energy.

In a letter today to the minister, the seven flag Whitehall’s new overview as an encouragement to investors in the diverse biomass sector.

Biomass’ breadths of possible applications – ranging across heat networks, industrial warmth and electricity generation – as well as varieties of feedstocks, from wood & cropping by-products to industrial waste and farm slurry – often pose headaches for policy makers, they point out.

But they praise the evidence-driven approach of Stuart’s blueprint.  It will “provide confidence to (such) established low carbon industries, ensuring skills, supply chains and jobs are maintained”, the signatories say.

“It also helps push forward policies to deliver strategically important innovations including bioenergy carbon and storage (BECCS)”.

Yesterday’s strategy document, with a foreword by Prof Paul Monks, D-ESNZ’s chief scientific advisor, points out that biomass accounting for 8.6% of UK energy supply last year.

In electricity generation, biomass-sourced power could provide either dispatchable or baseload power, with none of the intermittency of wind or solar.  Biomass electricity is being explored in the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA), which reports later this year.

Biomethane is singled out on the review as playing an important role in paving the way to Net Zero, by decarbonising sectors such as heat, transport and power.  Officials are being tasked identify obstacles in the growth of the biomethane market and how to overcome them.

Biomass use in industry could accelerate goals such as replacing 50TWh of fossil fuelled energy  with renewable sources by 2035, the policy agues, particularly if deployed alongside CCUS, Whitehall’s favoured route out of gas.

“In the absence of viable BECCS infrastructure, we will continue to support biomass use in industry where limited low carbon alternatives are available”.

David Cameron’s government published a BioEnergy strategy in 2012.  This update sets new policy in the context of this year’s Net Zero pathway, which sets goals of 5 Megatonnes of CO2e stripped from Britain’s emissions by 2030, rising to 35 Megatonnes only five years later.  Also invoked are last year’s British Energy Security & aviation-focused Jet Zero Strategies, and Britain’s international commitments under the Strategic Framework for Climate & Nature Action,.

Read the Biomass strategy here


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