Aug 22, 2013 - From April 2015 biomass power plants of 1 MW-plus in the UK will have to meet strict sustainability criteria if they want to participate in the renewables obligation (RO) scheme, the government said Thursday.
Financial support under the programme can be discontinued for power producers who do not meet the new wood-fuel sustainability rules, which are related to sustainable harvesting rates, biodiversity protection and land use rights for indigenous populations. This applies to facilities using solid biomass or biogas feedstock.
Furthermore, by 2020 biomass power plants have to bring their carbon dioxide equivalent emissions below 200 kg (441 pounds) per MWh per year and reduce them further to 180 kg/MWh by 2025.
Generators of more than 1 MW account for 98% of Britain’s installed biomass capacity. Such biomass power plants will also be obliged to present independent sustainability audits with their annual sustainability reports, under the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s new rules.
“The new criteria will provide the necessary investor certainty and, crucially, ensure that the biomass is delivered in a transparent and sustainable way,” commented Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change. To provide certainty for investors and developers the government will not make more unilateral changes to the sustainability criteria by April 2027.
As for smaller biomass power installations, those between 50 kW and 1 MW will need to report against the criteria, but not to comply with it. There are no new rules for systems under 50 kW.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!