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Back Biomass campaign calls for clarity from Government support for biomass

06/03/2014

 

The announcement that renewable energy developer RES is to cease work on its biomass power station project at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland “due to ongoing uncertainty in UK energy policy” is damaging to the UK’s energy future.

 

The Back Biomass campaign is disappointed that one of the leading projects for sustainable, dedicated biomass power has now been forced to fold due to a lack of Government support. Not only are 350 jobs and £300m in investment lost, this is a blow to delivering the affordable, low carbon, baseload generation that this country so desperately needs.

 

RES has clearly stated that the decision to close the plant is the result of the Government’s inconsistent support for biomass in the UK. While the Back Biomass campaign welcomes the support that the new Contract for Difference mechanism will offer to biomass CHP and to some conversion projects, and look forward to the first tranche of projects getting support, the introduction of a cap on dedicated biomass under the Renewables Obligation and the lack of support (unless with CHP) under EMR has made this outcome inevitable. This represents a sizeable change in DECC’s ambitions for the sector since 2011.

 

Current policy uncertainty is forcing key biomass projects to fold, costing thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in investment and putting current grid capacity at risk. The Government’s own Bioenergy Strategy estimates the cost of decarbonising the economy without biomass is an extra £44 billion. The UK urgently needs biomass as a vital part of our energy mix to keep the lights on, keep consumer bills at an affordable level and drive down emissions. Clarity is urgently needed on whether the Government is serious about a major role for biomass in the UK’s energy future.

 

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

 

Jules Norton Selzer, Back Biomass Campaign

Jules.norton-selzer@edelman.com
0203 047 2254

 

Notes to editor:

 

  1. RES, a member of the Back Biomass campaign, issued this press release – “RES stops work on £300m North Blyth Power Station”, 6th March 2014. Available at: http://www.northblythproject.co.uk/news/announcement.aspx

 

  1. 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 www.backbiomass.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @BackBiomass

 

  1. 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 www.r-e-a.net