Thank you for contacting me about subsidies for biomass electricity generation and Early Day Motion (EDM) 1771.
Government Whips, of whom I am one, do not, by convention, sign any Early Day Motions, as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code’s rules on collective responsibility. However, I can comment on the issues.
I would like to assure you that the Government continues to recognise climate change as one of the most serious long-term threats that this country and the world face. Ministers agree that the IPCC’s report’s sobering and stark conclusions must be heeded.
Sustainable, low carbon bioenergy has helped the UK move to a low-carbon energy mix, increase our energy security and keep costs down for consumers. As I understand, the Government sees the use of biomass as a transitional technology and has announced that support for all coal to biomass conversions will end in 2027.
In the meantime, as the Bioenergy Strategy makes clear, only biomass from sustainable sources should be used in the UK. Under new biomass sustainability criteria bioenergy suppliers must report on the sustainability of their operations if they want to claim subsidy support under the Renewables Obligation, Contracts for Difference, or the Renewable Heat Incentive.
These criteria are amongst the toughest in the world and any generators that do not comply will lose this financial support. This also includes a minimum 60 per cent lifecycle greenhouse gas saving and for the biomass to be from a sustainable source.
Ultimately, there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, but the UK has already made excellent progress and is setting an example to the rest of the world. Indeed, since 1990, the UK has reduced emissions by 43 per cent while growing our economy by more than two thirds; this represents a better performance on a per person basis than any other G7 nation.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP