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Biofuels

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of whether the practice of attributing carbon neutrality to all biomass is compliant with Article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol. (249617)

The practice of attributing carbon neutrality to biomass at the point of use is consistent with article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol because the carbon stock changes reported under this article take account of biomass harvesting for subsequent use.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the emissions to air of (a) carbon dioxide and (b) nitrogen oxides which would arise if the UK were to achieve its targets for the usage of biomass as fuel as set in the Renewable Energy Strategy consultation 2008. (249619)

If the UK were to achieve the estimated potential for the use of biomass for heat and power, as set out in the Renewable Energy Strategy consultation 2008, and assuming that biomass is carbon neutral, this could save around 20 Mt carbon dioxide compared to the fossil fuel alternative. This methodology does not account for losses of carbon dioxide during production, processing and transport, whose impact will vary on a case by case basis. Some of these savings will occur within the Emissions Trading Scheme. On nitrogen oxides, Government has modelled the potential impact of an increase in use of biomass in the domestic sector against a range of scenarios. We estimate this could result in an additional 0.8-9.1 ktonnes NOx over a baseline for 2020 of 87.1 ktonnes, depending on the amount of heat produced and the level of performance of the biomass unit.