REA, Drax welcome UK Biomass Policy Statement

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed the publication of a Biomass Policy Statement (BPS), noting that the announcement on COP26 Energy Day recognises the critical role of bioenergy in delivering net-zero targets.

The BPS comes alongside the recent biomass call for evidence to help develop the policies needed to make the best use of biomass across the economy in support of net zero. These will, in turn, inform the Biomass Strategy, due to be published late next year.

According to the REA, the Biomass Strategy must build on the success of existing bioenergy sectors already delivering immediate carbon savings, as well as providing employment for over 50,000 people across the UK.

“The REA firmly welcomes the government’s reasserted policy commitment to the use of biomass in the UK, recognising the critical role bioenergy plays in delivering the 1.5oC Paris Agreement and the UK’s own net-zero targets,” said Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of the REA.

“Releasing this policy statement on COP26 Energy Day sends a clear signal that the UK remains committed to ensuring that biomass is done right, in line with existing stringent sustainability governance arrangements, both at home and internationally.

“The REA looks forward to ongoing engagement with the government to finalise the Biomass Strategy next year, helping to inform a vision for the continuous, sustainable use of biomass. In doing so, we also reiterate the importance of building on the success of existing bioenergy sectors where immediate carbon saving are already being realised across power, heat and transport.”

Skorupska concluded that the strategy will not only need to set out an ambition, but ensure it maintains the skills, experience and supply chains already in place.

“This must be factored in when considering how biomass resources are best used by the UK to remain aligned with the climate commitments being made in Glasgow at COP26,” she said.

Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner, said the company is looking forward to working with the government "to ensure the most sustainable biomass feedstocks are used in our BECCS project".

He said: "Urgent action has to be taken to address the climate crisis and we are pleased the UK Government is demonstrating climate leadership in its ambitions to deliver policies which will attract the private sector investment needed for more green technologies to be deployed, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).“With the right business model from the government, Drax is ready to invest £2 billion (€2.35 billion) in BECCS and could deliver the world’s largest carbon capture project here in the UK, permanently removing eight million of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030.

"With sustainable biomass and BECCS, we can kick-start a whole new sector of the economy, creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the north, as well as stimulating an export market and supporting the UK’s net-zero target."

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