Biomass Heat Works
Biomass Heat Works! is a targeted, industry-backed campaign delivered by the UK Pellet Council urging the UK Government to better support biomass when decarbonising heat in rural and off-gas grid areas.
The Government's most recent consultation ('Future Support for Low Carbon Heat') outlined options to replace the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) including a Clean Heat Grant Scheme. However, Government attitudes towards biomass heat and the jobs that the industry supports could not be more disappointing. If ministers do not change the current direction of policy (i.e. biomass heat playing a very limited role in the heat decarbonisaiton strategy), our industry risks;
- Up to 46,000 bioenergy jobs lost
- £2.25 billion biomass installations lost or stalled
- Future UK skills shortages
- Negative impact on the rural economy
- Breakdown of successful UK supply chains
- Consumer shift back to fossil fuel heating
The campaign are asking that Government provide:
- A new, targeted, rural heat decarbonisation policy that brings all elements together; net zero objectives, renewable energy solutions provided by local businesses, sustainable forestry management, domestic UK wood pellet manufacturing;
- An immediate extension to the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) post March 2021 to prevent a one year ‘funding gap’ at a time when support and jobs are most needed (in the same way an additional 12 months extension has been allocated to the domestic RHI without caveat);
- A technology-agnostic approach and a rethink of the proposed £4,000 average grant as part of the Clean Heat Grant Scheme – this will only help to fund systems less than 15kW when average installations over the past ten years (during the RHI) were 25kW.
This will enable, at no extra cost, UK companies including major supermarkets, manufacturers, hospitals, care homes, hotels and local councils, to continue converting their heating systems to biomass from fossil fuel.
There is now a real threat that up to 46,000 bioenergy jobs which the sector supports, many of which are SMEs in rural or non-urban locations, will be lost at a time when employment is most needed. The Government has within its power the ability to offer an extension to the NDRHI post March 2021.