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Utility Week: Anti-biomass lobby 'could derail Energy Bill', warns REA


The Energy Bill "risks being hijacked by the anti-biomass lobby", the Renewable Energy Association's Back Biomass campaign has warned.

Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey has tabled an amendment that would disqualify biomass plant with capacity of 15MW or more from subsidies unless they were combined heat and power (CHP) or fitted with carbon capture and storage.

An REA spokesperson said that would mean a number of new plants could not be built - "a terrible outcome for our economy and our energy future".

The amendment came amid a flurry of concern over the sustainability of biofuels and biomass. The BBC's Roger Harrabin said MPs were due to decide on "controversial plans for new subsidies to burn trees and plants in UK power stations". He claimed the proposals could lead to rainforest clearance.

The REA refuted the story, saying the decisions it referred to were routine updates to the Renewables Obligation.

The BBC had confused biofuel with biomass, a spokesperson said. There are sustainability criteria for the both, and "to imply protected rainforest wood can go to power generation is plain wrong".