PowerNews UK announces sustainability standards U.K. pellet demand (in million metric tons) Consumption
Imports from U.S.
SOURCE: USDA FAS GAIN, EU BIOFUELS ANNUAL 2013
New solid biomass sustainability standards are set to go into effect in the U.K. in 2015. According to the U.K. Department of Energy & Climate Change, once the standards take effect, the biomass industry will be required to show its fuel is sustainable to receive financial support under the Renewables Obligation. The requirements will apply to electricity generators of 1 megawatt (MW) capacity or higher that use biomass or biogas feedstock. The DECC estimates the 1 MW threshold will cover approximately 98 percent of all biomass power generation in the U.K. Power producers covered by the sustainability standards will also be required to provide an
independent sustainability audit with their annual sustainability report. In order to provide certainty to investors and developers, the DECC has indicated that there will be no additional unilateral changes to sustainability criteria before April 2027. “The coalition is committed to delivering clean, affordable and secure energy for consumers,” said Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change. “This includes an important role for biomass power as part of the UK’s energy mix. The new criteria will provide the necessary investor certainty and, crucially, ensure that the biomass is delivered in a transparent and sustainable way.”
RE-Powering tool highlights bioenergy potential The U.S. EPA has updated its RE-Powering Mapping and Screening Tool. The tool, part of the REPowering America’s Land Initiative, provides preliminary screening results for renewable energy potential on contaminated land, landfill and mine sites. It now profiles 66,000 locations, up from 34,000. The tool pulls data from EPA databases of potentially and formerly contaminated lands. The REPowering Initiative has worked in collaboration with the U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop screening criteria for biomass, solar, wind and geothermal potential on identified sites. Currently, the tool identifies 9,966 potential sites for biopower development. These sites have biomass resources of at least 280,000 metric tons per year within 50 miles, are at least 50 acres in size, are less than 10 miles from transmission lines and are close to graded roads and rail. In addition, 1,947 sites are identified as potential locations for landfill gas projects, with 9,966 potential sites identified as possible biorefinery locations. More than 70 renewable energy projects have already been installed on contaminated lands or landfills through the initiative, representing more than 200 MW of combined capacity. Most of these projects to date have been solar, with EPA data highlighting only one 20 MW project currently employing biomass. However, information published by the agency states that biomass potential at EPA’s tracked sites is more than 190,000 MW on a technical basis.
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18 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013
October 13 Biomass Magazine