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Enviro groups call on UK to end subsidies for biomass

Renewable power generation by source in UK, 2018. Source: gov.uk

May 2 (Renewables Now) - Environmental groups today urged the UK government to “end its multi-billion pound subsidy programme for wood-fired electricity generation”, saying that supporting biomass does not fit a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) plan.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) released on Thursday a report in which it claims that a net-zero GHG target by 2050 for the UK can be achieved with known technologies and at an acceptable cost.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Biofuelwatch, the Dogwood Alliance, and the Southern Environmental Law Center are warning that betting on biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to achieve climate targets is a “misguided” decision. “If BECCS was to ever work, it would suck up billions of subsidies urgently needed for true climate solutions, and lead to yet more trees being burned for less energy,” said Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch.

Biomass power generation has been growing in the UK mainly due to conversions from coal to biomass at major generators like the Drax and Lynemouth power stations. In 2018, bioenergy generation reached a record 35.6 TWh, up by 12% year-on-year and more than any other renewable energy source, according to official government statistics.

The four organisations believe that instead of supporting biomass electricity, the UK should be putting more funds into genuinely zero-emission renewables like wind, wave, and solar power, energy efficiency and conservation, and smart resources like energy storage.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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