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Biofuels: Subsidies

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on subsidies for biofuel production in the UK in each of the last three years. (211878)

I have been asked to reply.

Over the last three years, the Government's main support for the production of biofuels has been in the form of the 20 pence per litre duty rate reduction for biodiesel and bioethanol. Since April 2008, support has been focused through the renewable transport fuel obligation. This support has been available to both domestic and imported biofuels and information is not available on the amount spent on each category.

Farmers can receive the single payment for biofuel crops grown on set-aside and non set-aside land. However, as data on the end use of arable crops are not collected, it is not possible to give the amount spent specifically on biofuel crops.

Farmers can also claim the EU's €45/ha energy aid payment where energy crops are grown on non set-aside land with a contract for energy end use. However, this does not differentiate between crops grown for biofuels or the generation of heat and power. The cost of this support for the last three years is as follows:

£

England

Wales

Scotland

2005

2,510,221

856

116,492

2006

4,163,214

2,028

265,902

2007

3,822,057

14,968

1236,084

1 There are a few claims still to be processed.

Capital grants have also been provided by the Regional Development Agencies for the construction of processing plants.