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Coal-fired Power Stations

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to promote the use of biomass in coal-fired power stations. (114118)

The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the Government's key policy for promoting renewable energy. Suppliers of electricity are obliged to supply an increasing percentage of electricity from renewable sources by surrendering Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) or pay a buy-out price. Those suppliers that surrender ROCs receive a share of the total buy-out fund. Co-firing of biomass in coal fired station is eligible for ROCs and suppliers can meet 10 per cent. obligation through co-firing. We are consulting on whether to remove the limit on co-firing in conjunction with banding the RO. Banding the RO will allow for technologies to be given more targeted levels of support through awarding multiple or fractional ROCs. Subject to assessment of responses to the consultation and passage of legislation, banding and removal of the co-firing cap could begin in April 2009.