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Biomass to be included in UK’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

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Biomass will be included in the second phase of the UK Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The scheme was designed to pave the way for the decarbonisation of large public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed the announcement. Previously, the REA expressed its disappointment that biomass was not included in Phase 1 of the scheme and had been pressing ministers of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy for a change in future phases.

There were also concerns that Phase 1 was not sufficiently focused on heat decarbonisation. The REA said it is ‘greatly encouraged’ that both of its concerns have been addressed, and that Phase 2 will take a ‘whole building’ approach.

“The REA warmly welcomes the change to include biomass in the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme’s second phase,” said Frank Gordon, director of policy at the REA.

“Large public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, require high heat loads and are exactly the kind of decarbonisation projects that biomass heat is particularly well suited to.

“It’s no secret that we were very disappointed that is wasn’t included in Phase 1 and we felt that the scheme wasn’t sufficiently focused on heat decarbonisation. However, the ‘whole building’ approach is an important step forward.

“The biomass heat industry is also committed to continuing to implement robust air quality, planning and sustainability standards, and are positive about the impact of additional grant funding will have on the biomass sector. This will also help ensure the sector can play its part in the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, also recently published by the government.”

The second phase – which will have £75 million (€87.8 million) of grant funding – will open to applications on 7 April and will close when sufficient high-quality applications have been submitted.