Thank you for contacting me about reducing carbon emissions.
I am pleased that work is already underway to help us achieve net zero by 2050. For example, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will be the world leader in offshore wind following £160 million additional investment and more ambitious targets. This includes boosting a previous target to deliver up to 30GW of offshore wind to delivering 40GW by 2030. This forms part of the Prime Minister's ambitious Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution which lays the blueprint for achieving net zero.
You mention the Renewables Obligation (RO) as a subsidy for burning biofuels. The RO scheme and the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme support the generation of renewable electricity. The RO does not pay a direct subsidy, instead support is through tradeable renewable electricity certificates. In addition, the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme supports renewable heat technologies.
As part of the CfD scheme, and in response to the previous consultation, the Government intends to require all dedicated biomass with combined heat and power (CHP), and energy from waste with CHP, schemes applying for new support contracts to have a minimum overall efficiency of 70 per cent (net calorific value).
The Government announced that a new Biomass Strategy will be published in 2022. I understand that this will review what amount of sustainable biomass could be available to the UK, and how this resource could be best utilised across the economy to help achieve our net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.
I agree with you that our woods and forests are an invaluable national asset and I am proud of the action that has been taken in recent years to preserve and extend British woodland. I am pleased that Ministers remain committed to increasing tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025. On top of this, the Government will soon publish plans for how we will increase tree planting for nature, people, the economy and net zero.
I remain committed to ensuring that we build back greener and more resilient as we recover from Covid-19.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP