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Biomass Gasification Plants

Volume 545: debated on Thursday 17 May 2012

We see a big role in the future for combined heat and power gasification plants. The coalition has introduced the renewable heat incentive to support exactly that type of technology and will shortly publish details of future subsidies for renewable electricity under the renewables obligation. Furthermore, DECC’s UK renewable energy road map clearly sets out the actions we are already taking to remove non-financial barriers to deployment.

The university of East Anglia campus in my constituency is able to receive considerable heat and power from its unique biomass gasification plant, which is the first of its kind in the UK. When sustainable syngas cannot be produced due to the maintenance cleaning cycle, the boiler switches to natural gas. However, dual fuel plants are ineligible to receive renewable heat incentive payments. Will the Minister consider whether the RHI guidance could be made more flexible further to encourage investment in innovative low-carbon technologies?

My hon. Friend raises a good point and we are keen to be as flexible, pragmatic and ambitious as possible. I can confirm that the Government will explore the inclusion of dual fuel biogas and fossil fuel installations within the RHI and I thank him for his idea.