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Renewable Energy Policy

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what types of wood and other biomass material are classified as renewable for the purposes of the renewable obligation certificates available for industry; and whether this includes (a) material grown specifically for a renewable energy programme and (b) wood which is produced for other purposes. [119183]

All types of wood and other biodegradable material are renewable as the term is used in the Utilities Act and the Renewables Obligation Order (RO).Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) may be issued only for the biodegradable fraction of the fuel supply, and only where the conditions of the Renewable Obligation Order concerning the fuel supply and technology used are met. Where the feedstock is at least 98 per cent. biodegradable, there is eligibility for ROCs regardless of the energy conversion technology used. Where the feedstock is mixed waste, there is eligibility only in the case of advanced energy conversion technologies.In the case of stations fired by both a fossil-derived fuel and biomass (known as co-firing), waste which is purely biomass is eligible under the Renewables Obligation until 31 March 2011, but from 1 April 2006, at least 75 per cent. of the biomass must be from energy crops as defined in the Renewables Obligation Order, that is "a plant crop planted after 1 January 1990 primarily for the purpose of being used as a fuel".A technical review of the Renewables Obligation, including the co-firing provisions, is under way. This will be followed by a Statutory Consultation, beginning later in the summer.