Energy Minister, Charles Hendry MP, this week reinforced Government support for the UK biomass industry and highlighted its importance as a proven, practical and secure part of a sustainable energy mix.
Speaking at a packed Westminster reception organised by the Back Biomass campaign, the Minister reaffirmed that the Government is committed to a significant ramping up of biomass electricity, heat and CHP and is well on the way to tackling financial and non-financial barriers to achieving their ambitious targets.
The event, held at Westminster City Hall and hosted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Susie Burbidge, was attended by MPs and industry representatives, together with leading figures from the forestry and agriculture sectors.
The Back Biomass campaign is an industry-led initiative designed to promote awareness and understanding of the merits of biomass as proven, practical, secure source of low-carbon energy. The campaign has gained widespread support since its launch in July, and will be continuing to work with Government and other stakeholders in 2012 to ensure that the full benefits of biomass are delivered for UK PLC.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry MP said:
“I want to state that biomass is a huge opportunity for the UK. It can bring us clean electricity and heat, greater energy security, economic development in both rural and urban areas, and new green jobs. It is one of the major new growth opportunities that can help the UK economy out of recession.”
“The Government’s bio-energy strategy… will be published in the New Year. This work confirms the key importance of sustainably-sourced energy from biomass in meeting the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction targets for 2050. In fact it confirms that without bio-energy it will not be possible to meet those targets.”
Welcoming the Minister’s comments, REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell said:
“We started the Back Biomass campaign in early summer, with the objective of delivering the message to government that if it puts the right policy framework in place, the biomass industry is ready and willing to assist in meeting the Government’s renewables target.”
“With the introduction of new sustainability criteria from 2013, Government has also made it clear that only sustainably-sourced biomass, which complies with strict environmental regulations, will be supported. This position is welcomed by an industry keen to play not just an interim but a long term role in the low carbon economy of the future.”