REA responds: RSPB Report02/09/2011
It is great to see that our campaign – Back Biomass www.backbiomass.co.uk - is creating a debate on the future of biomass in the UK’s energy mix and the RSPB report is a welcome addition to that debate. It is vital that as the Government makes decisions about the future of energy policy in the UK it makes those in recognition of the need for a portfolio of renewables - and heat and power from sustainable biomass offers proven, practical, secure and low carbon energy as part of a balanced energy mix.
We agree with the RSPB that there is much greater potential for developing biomass from better managed forests in the UK and other domestic sources including agricultural by-products. We believe that a mature biomass industry will help to incentivise the more effective use and management of our woodlands, developing the UK biomass energy supply chain. However it must be recognised that the future of biomass is much more sustainable than the RSPB report recognises.
Our campaign is committed to promoting sustainable biomass fuel sources and the new Government sustainability criteria ensures, from April 2013, that all biomass feedstock comes from demonstrably sustainable low carbon sources. This criteria requires information provided by companies to be verified by independent auditors to ensure that these criteria are being met.
Our campaign aims to put forward the positive, practical and pragmatic case for biomass. Its contribution is essential, particularly given its unique position as a low carbon baseload technology, which makes biomass complement to other renewables, many of which are intermittent or variable in output.
We would encourage all of those interested in the debate to visit the Back Biomass website www.backbiomass.co.uk for further information on the role of biomass as an affordable, low carbon energy source, that can benefit the UK economy, helping to strengthen our energy security in a sustainable way.