REA expresses concern over new RO consultation proposals

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

The Renewable Energy Association has raised anxieties over renewables obligation banding decision document

A new DECC consultation for biomass power/CHP published at the end of last week has prompted concerns by the Renewable Energy Association (REA). The consultations follow from the renewables obligation (RO) banding decision document that was published in July and which, as the REA commented at the time: “raised more questions than it answered”.

Tough criteria designed to ensure that the biomass used in UK power stations is sustainable have been set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). These include a requirement for wood fuel to come from sustainably managed forests, and a proposal to set a clear pathway to reduce the carbon intensity of biomass generation.

The biomass paper also proposes a cap on the support provided to new dedicated biomass power under the Renewables Obligation.

According to the REA, the consultation for biomass power and CHP introduces new levels of complexity for biomass projects and puts a limit on the amount of plant coming through. Biomass currently has to demonstrate greenhouse gas savings of 60% compared to fossil generation in order to qualify for support under the RO (1.5 ROCs per MWh for dedicated biomass and 2 ROCs per MWh for CHP).
REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “Proposing to cap the amount of new dedicated biomass generation is not helpful at a time when we should be bringing forward as much of the cheaper renewables as we can.”

Furthermore, continued the chief executive, biomass CHP, a highly efficient use of biomass, has received little investment because the CHP uplift under the RO will be withdrawn in 2015.
The new consultation comes as the coalition government articulates plans for its industrial growth strategy . In July the REA organised an open letter from over 200 companies and organisations to the prime minister and deputy prime minister, urging them to put renewables at the heart of the government’s growth strategy, to overcome party politics, and to address the burgeoning complexity of the renewables policy framework. This call was echoed this weekend by Lord Deben, chair of the government’s advisory committee on Climate Change.

Hartnell added: “Renewables can support a much bigger and broader vision for jobs and growth than we’ve seen so far from this government, as Lord Deben made plain this weekend. First government needs to acknowledge that, and then we need a stable and effective policy framework to achieve it. Instead of ramping up progress, government is actually making the project development process unworkable for some technologies. The coalition must focus not only on the tremendous benefits renewables have to offer the UK, but also on the overall framework and approach, which has become overly complex and debilitating.”

 

 


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