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Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons he decided that grandfathering rights on the basis of those applied to offshore wind projects should not apply to regular biomass projects. (305181)

‘Government Response to the Statutory Consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2009’, published in December 2008, we set out our decision not to grandfather existing biomass and waste plants following evidence from the biomass industry:

“that grandfathering existing stations at 1 ROC/MWh while banding up new stations would be detrimental to a competitive market for the fuel stock ... [as] existing plants could not have reasonably anticipated the introduction of banding, and made any contingency for this. We ... therefore decided to allow existing plants to be banded up and receive the same level of support as new plants. ... As the principle of banding has now been established we believe that there is less reason to treat biomass stations as a special case.”

However, we are currently carrying out work with the Renewables Advisory Board, the Renewable Energy Association and biomass stakeholders to assess whether moves in biomass fuel prices might warrant such action at the next banding review starting October 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to monitor the level of use of each source of biomass fuel. (307626)

The Government publish statistics on the annual use of biomass fuel in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics. Chapter 7 provides a breakdown by source. Further information relating to fuel use by power plants registered for the renewables obligation is kept by Ofgem on their searchable Renewable and CHP Register at:

In addition, the UK renewables obligation (RO) scheme introduced, on 1 April 2009, a reporting requirement to monitor the sustainability of biomass, including information such as country of origin of the fuel.