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Back Biomass campaign press release: Biomass is key to bridging the energy gap




Immediate release


Biomass is key to bridging the energy gap

Responding to the comments of Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem, the Back Biomass campaign has said biomass must form a vital part of the UK’s future energy mix, helping to meet potential shortages and cope with plant closures.


Paul Thompson, Head of Policy at the Renewable Energy Association, said:


“Ofgem has warned the UK is facing a major gap in energy generation over the next ten years as a quarter of the UK’s existing generating capacity shuts down and new large scale technologies like nuclear and offshore wind have not yet come online. The pipeline is chock a block with projects for new build dedicated biomass and projects to convert existing coal stations. This is vital, baseload renewable energy from sustainable sources. It’s affordable and shovel ready now.”


“Predictable, stable, diverse sources of fuel supply such as biomass help to strengthen the UK’s energy security meaning we aren’t reliant on just one source of energy. A mature biomass industry is considerably less likely to be vulnerable to price volatility and could provide stability against price shocks in other fuel sources.”


“The UK is legally committed to sourcing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Electricity from sustainably sourced biomass could potentially contribute up to 21% of this. Biomass could comfortably go beyond this figure through further conversions of coal-fired plants. Ofgems warn that closures may lead to an energy shortfall as early as 2015. Therefore retaining existing capacity on the grid and connecting new biomass generators will be essential to keep the lights on.”


In conclusion, Paul Thompson said:


“As the UK seeks to avert a capacity crunch and meet stretching renewable energy targets, we must look to technologies able to be delivered quickly and affordably now. As a mature, cost-competitive low-carbon technology, sustainable biomass power and CHP can deliver this much needed capacity in the short timeframe required.


However, policy and regulatory certainty is essential in order to leverage finance for the development of new biomass projects. Back Biomass will continue to work with Government to ensure these ambitions are met, enabling biomass to play a leading role in the UK’s future energy mix.”





For more information:

Jessica Lennard, Back Biomass campaign
[email protected]
t: +44 (0)20 3047 2204

m: +44 (0)778 602 5652

Paul Thompson, Renewable Energy Association
[email protected]
Tel:  +44 (0)20 7925 3580
Mob: +44 (0)7980 264580


Notes to Editor:

 1.    Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem’s presentation, ‘Will GB's lights stay on and will the gas keep flowing: a look at the next decade?’, can be found at

 2.    The Renewable Energy Association’s Back Biomass campaign is an industry led and government supported initiative launched in summer 2011 to urge the Government to ‘Back Biomass’ power as a crucial part of a secure, affordable, low carbon future for the UK. We believe that power and CHP from sustainable biomass offers proven, practical, secure low carbon energy as part of a balanced energy mix. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @BackBiomass

 3.    The REA was established in 2001, as a not-for-profit trade association, to represent British renewable energy producers and promote the use of renewable energy in the UK. The REA endeavours to achieve the right regulatory framework for renewables to deliver an increasing contribution to the UK’s electricity, heat and transport needs. For more information, please visit