By the end of March 2010 the UK government will have officially released the sustainability model for biomass and biofuels that the UK will abide by.
David Kidney, the energy minister, explained that the UK is following in the footsteps of the European Commission, which published its sustainability recommendations in February of this year. Work on the UK guidelines has already commenced.
Kidney said: ‘On 25 February the European Commission published its recommendations on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources for heat and electricity generation. In the light of this, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will make an announcement later this month, setting out what actions the Government can now take to introduce sustainability standards for biomass in the UK.’
It is anticipated that Britain will rely heavily on biomass and biogas to reduce its output of carbon dioxide. The government needs to create guidelines that are beneficial and definite.
At the moment refineries generating 50kW and above are required to report to Ofgem once a year to give feedback on how much biomass they have processed, as well as further information such as the details of any environmental standard it had to adhere to and country or origin.
Newly-constructed plants beginning operation from 2017 must also meet a minimum greenhouse gas savings threshold of 35%. These guidelines will increase to 50% in 2017 and 60% in 2018.