Biomass power stations will have to meet strict sustainability criteria to receive government subsidies, according to new proposals published today.
A consultation outlining the measures and recommending a cap on the support provided to new dedicated biomass power under the Renewables Obligation (RO) as well as drops in subsidy levels was published today alongside proposed cuts to payments for large-scale solar systems.
According to the government's bioenergy strategy published in April, burning wood, waste or agricultural residues could contribute up to 6GW of electricity, more than double the current level, and 50 terawatt hours (TWh) of heat by 2020.
But concerns have been raised that there is insufficient feedstock to support a large-scale industry, which could lead to unsustainable practices such as the felling of virgin forest or loss of agricultural land to energy crops.
In response, the Department of Energy and Climate ...