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Will continue to support biomass industry and hold it to high standards: REA

As per media report, on May 15, the U.K. Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) released a statement emphasizing the critical role of biomass power in achieving the U.K.’s net zero goals. The REA reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the biomass industry and maintaining high standards.

This statement comes in response to recent scrutiny of the biomass power sector by members of the U.K. Parliament and the media, preceding the government’s forthcoming response to a public consultation held earlier this year on the future of biomass energy subsidies.

In January, the U.K. Department for Energy Security and Net Zero launched a public consultation on proposed plans to provide transitional subsidies to support large-scale biomass electricity generators in their transition to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) projects. The consultation concluded on February 29, and the government’s response is anticipated soon. Drax Group plc is among the companies working on implementing BECCS projects in the U.K.

The media report shows that Mark Sommerfeld, deputy director of policy at the REA, stated in the May 15 release, “The Climate Change Committee (CCC), International Energy Agency (IEA), and UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) all recognize the ongoing importance of sustainable biomass power in achieving a decarbonized energy system. The sector currently contributes 13% of renewable power in the U.K. and uses diverse feedstocks, including waste wood, supporting the circular economy.”

Sommerfeld highlighted that the CCC’s sixth carbon budget specifies the need for engineered carbon removals of 58 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050, with BECCS expected to provide the majority of this, as it is the most scalable engineered carbon removal technology available.

“The industry is fully committed to ensuring this is done correctly,” Sommerfeld added. “The U.K. already has world-leading sustainability governance arrangements, which the government and industry are committed to further enhancing. Last year, the chief scientific officer to the government’s energy department concluded that there is no scientific reason why BECCS cannot be delivered sustainably in the U.K.

“The REA supports the establishment of a mechanism to bridge to BECCS. This proposed mechanism will maintain existing generation capacity at low cost while providing a mandatory pathway for BECCS delivery,” Sommerfeld continued. “Ensuring that these existing low carbon generation stations have a clear market signal regarding their future is essential for timely and cost-effective investment.”

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