Conservative MPs express concern over UK biomass subsidies

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Funding should no longer be earmarked for biomass-produced electricity until it can be proved that it does not negatively affect climage change, UK MPs have said.
The Times reports that, as ministers prepare to extend subsidies to biomass plants, Conservative MPs are warning that this risks 'ripping off' taxpayers.
According to the publication, the MPs state there are 'serious questions' about the sustainability of biomass from wood-burning, and a review into wind and solar as prospectively better options is necessary.
Drax has received more than £6 billion (€6.9 billion) in public subsidy, and ministers are debating whether taxpayers' support should continue after the deal expires in 2027.
Energy secretary Claire Coutinho will make a decision on 'official recommendations that subsidises continue', subject to a cap on total payments.
She is said to be demanding more reassurance about value for money and is expected to insist that all wood used in generation is shown to be sustainable, up from 70% at present, according to The Times.
A report produced by the Conservative Environment Network urges ministers not to renew subsidies unless the technology can be proven to be sustainable, and of value to the taxpayer.
“Key questions remain unanswered about the environmental impact of bioenergy generators and their financial sustainability,” the report says
Selaine Saxby, one of 32 MPs and peers to back the report, said that “the public has forked out millions of pounds in subsidies for wood biomass energy generation, despite its highly questionable environmental status”.
A government source said: “Claire is focused on protecting people’s bills. She has been challenging the department to see if we can go further on sustainability and make sure that any potential support is value for money and not at the expense of the taxpayer.”

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