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DECC Consultation on proposals to ensure sustainability and affordability for the use of biomass under the Renewables Obligation

DECC has published its consultation on its proposals to improve the sustainability criteria for biomass and ensuring its continued affordability and value for money under the Renewables Obligation (RO).

The consultation paper is split into two sections. Part A deals with proposals regarding the sustainability of biomass, and includes the formal linking of sustainability criteria with eligibility for support under the RO regime. This is proposed alongside the tightening of the existing sustainability criteria from October 2013, including changes to the required greenhouse gas emissions savings that biomass must produce when compared against fossil fuels, and sustainable forest management criteria for wood-based biomass.

Part B considers the affordability and value for money of biomass, and includes a proposal to cap, from March 2013, the amount of energy generated from new dedicated non-CHP biomass that would be accredited under the RO regime, so as to limit the long-term growth of biomass to the detriment of other, cheaper forms of carbon abatement technology.

The closing date for responses to Part A is 30 November 2012, and for Part B is 19 October 2012. The consultation paper and response templates can be found here.