Anaerobic Digestion and biomass were not discussed as favoured methods of renewable energy in an energy and climate change debate attended by the secretary of state for energy and climate change and his two contemporaries from the other main political parties.
The debate, Ask the Ministers: Energy and Climate Change, held in London last night, saw the three main political parties clash over environment policies including the development of renewable sources such as nuclear power and wind farms yet, during the 105-minute session no mention was made of AD or biomass.
Labour’s energy and climate change Secretary Ed Miliband was keen to point out that his party would continue to encourage investment in all renewable energy and his closing remarks said: “We are willing to embrace all the low carbon alternatives.”
Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for energy and climate change spoke of his party’s policy to create a Green Investment Bank to help increase investment in all forms of renewable energy.
However, this is the closest any of the leaders came to talking about the development of AD or biomass, even though the problem of biomass financing has been a key issue in the renewables industry in recent months.
As reported exclusively in MRW in February, the biomass industry was thrown into turmoil when it emerged that Renewable Obligation Certificates for biomass technologies were not protected by the grandfathering principle.
Since then, the Department for Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation on proposals to change the way in which energy from biomass is supported to try and encourage investor certainty. These proposals include providing a set level of support for dedicated biomass and grandfathering ROCs for AD.
The Conservatives have also outlined proposals to dramatically alter the way in which biomass and AD are financed by effectively phasing out the current system of ROCs and replacing these with an extended Feed-In Tariff scheme.
However, despite their plans to build green infrastructure and investment, the Liberal Democrats make no mention of the financing of AD and Biomass in their energy policy.
The Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “We want to work with the new government of whatever colour.”