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June 2006

Getting the best out of biomass

London— A plan to unlock the potential for renewable energy in biomass was published by the Government in London in May, 2006.

Measures include a capital grant scheme for biomass boilers, the establishment of a new Biomass Energy Center to provide expert information, along with further grant support for supply chains and the consideration of using biomass heating in Government buildings.

The report, launched by Ministers from Defra and the DTI, forms the Government’s response to the Biomass Task Force, which made a package of recommendations in October.

Its main argument that biomass is particularly suited for generating heat is accepted by the Government, though the action plan makes clear that electricity generated from biomass and combined heat and power (CHP) are also an important part of its future.

The Biomass Task Force made 42 recommendations to Government. The Government’s Response accepts most of them and set plans for implementation.The Task Force’s recommendation that the Government should not pursue a renewable heat obligation will be considered further and the evidence reviewed.

The action plan is primarily for England. However the Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have helped in its development and it will also contribute to a UK biomass strategy, which will be published in the next year.

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