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EFRA committee report recognises UKs need to progress biofuel and biomass heat utilisation
Submitted: 18 September 2006
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee today expresses concern at the degree to which the UK is lagging behind other countries in the promotion and use of bioenergy.
The main areas of concern are the untapped potentials for biomass heat, and renewable transport fuels for both road and air travel. The report is very critical of Government policies for promoting bioenergy, describing the existing support schemes as "piecemeal and so lacking in ambition as to raise questions about the extent of the Government’s commitment to its domestic climate change agenda"
Key points are the need for a more level playing field for biomass heat, compared to power generation, and concern that not enough is being done to bring forward the development of '2nd generation' biofuels.

The REA has welcomed the publication of this report

Graham Meeks, Head of Fuels and Heat at the REA, said:
“It is nothing short of scandalous that Government continues to overlook the potential of bioenergy in our efforts to tackle climate change. Although we have abundant bioenergy resources available from our forests, farms and waste management industry, the Government has still to introduce coherent policies to encourage the supply of heat, transport fuels and renewable power from these sources. By comparison only Italy, Cyprus and Malta perform worse than the UK in their utilisation of wood for energy supply.

“Just last year, the Biomass Task Force, headed by Sir Ben Gill, pointed out that biomass could meet 7% of our national heat demand by 2015, replacing scarce fossil fuel imports. Government’s advisers, the Carbon Trust, estimate that using biomass for heating could save over 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. And developing this resource would provide a welcome economic boost to our farming, forestry and engineering sectors.

“But instead of seeing firm action from Government, we have another influential Parliamentary committee adding fuel to the fire whilst highlighting the failings of current renewables policy towards biomass. An obvious first step in addressing these failings would be an obligation on fossil fuel suppliers to meet a proportion of demand for heat from renewable sources.”

Read the terms of reference, the full report and the REA's verbal contribution below.

 Related Web Site(s)
Terms of Reference for enquiry . .
Transcript of REA . .
Download full report here

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