JULY 2008

UK offers cash for biomass heat and electricity generation

Farmers, foresters and biomass producers can apply for up to £200,000 each, under a new round of grants opened by UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas.

The Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme will support the biomass industry in England by helping those supplying biomass fuel for use in heat and electricity generation.

Phil Woolas said, “We have to rethink our energy mix. We know biomass has the potential to considerably reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and cut our carbon emissions. UK producers are setting the standard and have shown production can be sustainable and our investment will support their commitment to this emerging industry.

All projects must be based in England and must supply the biomass to end-users in Great Britain. Grants are available for up to a maximum of £200,000 per producer group or business.

The deadline for applications is August 5, 2008 for applications from businesses and September 5, 2008 from producer groups.

The grants will apply to the following crops:

•Short rotation coppice (willow, poplar, alder, ash, hazel, lime, silver birch, sweet chestnut and sycamore), miscanthus, switch grass, reed canary grass, prairie cord grass, rye grass, straw, woodfuel from forestry, arboricultural tree management and primary processing and other energy crops at Defra’s discretion.

Grants will not apply to the following:

•Wood arising from secondary processing and any wood that has been chemically treated or painted, oilseed rape to be used to produce heat and electricity, biomass for processing into transport fuels or animal waste products (e.g., poultry litter, sewage, etc).