We were interested to see the results of the Regen SW Renewable Energy Progress Report 2012 and to see an update on the take up of biomass in the region. Read an excerpt relating to biomass below, or follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the report in full.
Biomass across the south west now has a total capacity of more than 74 MW. It remains the most significant renewable heat technology making up 62.6 per cent of the capacity in the region. Over the past year there were 189 new biomass installations, bringing the total to 685.
• In 2011/2012, around 90 per cent of biomass installations in the south west were domestic, with an average capacity of 29 kW
• 149 (14 per cent) of the south west RHPP vouchers were for biomass installations. However, these were not taken up as widely as other technologies
Trends and targets
Based on the national Renewable Heat Incentive targets and modelling, and an assumption that eight per cent of national biomass installations will be in the south west, we estimate that there is potential for 430 industrial, 3,750 commercial or public sector, and 58,500 domestic installations in the south west by 2020. To reach that level would require continued exponential growth over the next eight years.
The Regen SW ‘Road to 2020’ report estimated that renewable heat in the built environment would need to total 4 TWh by 2020 to meet the 2020 targets. Under current rates of growth, we might expect to see the number of installations grow to 2,500 by 2020, which would produce roughly 0.8 TWh of heat. If growth in project numbers increased exponentially, and the number of installations became more weighted towards the domestic sector, we would be able to meet our 2020 renewable heat targets from biomass.
The REA calculated that there were 870 jobs in biomass production and 1,915 jobs in biomass utilisation across the south west in 2010/11. These figures include jobs related to landfill gas and energy from waste projects, which we have dealt with separately in this report. However, it is possible to estimate that at least 2,000 of these jobs are related to biomass boiler installations.
We have seen a growth in new and existing companies in 2011.