Biomass conversion to miss out on UK renewables funding

Britain’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) has criticised a government decision to exclude biomass conversion from the next round of UK renewable electricity price support.

On Wednesday, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) unveiled  terms for a second round of the UK’s Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions, beginning in financial year 2021-22.

Under this round a total of £290m (€324m) will be available. But the scope of eligible operators will be restricted to “less established” technologies. These will include dedicated biomass with CHP, anaerobic digestion (AD) and advanced conversion technologies such as gasification and pyrolysis.

In addition to biomass conversions at power stations technologies that were eligible for support under the first CfD round from 2014-15 but will now be excluded include EfW with CHP, landfill gas and sewage gas, onshore wind and solar.

Support available under round 2 of the CfD scheme is also being reduced. For gasification and pyrolysis and also for dedicated biomass with CHP strike prices will fall from £140-155 in round 1 to £114-125/MWh. For anaerobic digestion they will be £135-140/MWh.

The government also announced a new cap of 150 MW total capacity for these three bioenergy technologies collectively, equivalent to £70m of price support.

James Court, Policy & External Affairs head at REA, criticised the exclusion of biomass conversion in round 2 of the CfD scheme. The practice should continue to be supported by government as a “pragmatic way” to put decommissioned coal plants to use, he said.

However, he welcomed other aspects of the government’s announcement as “stabilising actions” after months of policy changes that have reduced investor confidence in the renewable energy sector.

Source ENDs Waste & Energy

Biomass conversion to miss out on UK renewables funding

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