The Scottish Government has proposed not to grandfather renewable obligation certificates (ROCs) for dedicated biomass plants in Scotland.
This proposal forms part of a consultation launched by the Scottish Government on changes to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) order and comes less than two months after the UK Government issued a statement saying it would grandfather all dedicated biomass stations, as well as anaerobic digestion (AD) and energy from waste (EfW) facilities.
The consultation document says that the Scottish Government proposes to “retain the existing arrangements whereby dedicated biomass stations are not grandfathered”, although it is proposing to extend grandfathering to AD and EfW with combined heat and power (CHP).
The Scottish Government’s decision not to grandfather biomass relates to its concerns over the wood fuel used to feed biomass plants as being a “finite resource”. It believes it needs to “seek to establish a more appropriate and efficient balance between the support available and the competing needs for what is a finite resource.”
The consultation has been launched to coincide with the Scottish Government’s review on ROC bands, due later this year.
Responding to the proposal Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “The Renewables Obligation is a tradable mechanism, and having different arrangements within the UK is far from ideal. When Scotland has deviated in the past, it was to improve the arrangements for Scottish generators.
“By not grandfathering biomass, it’s made their prospects worse. Experience shows that when Governments are too prescriptive, it can back fire. Scottish forestry residues will end up being transported south of the border if they are to be used for clean, green, power generation. It makes no environmental sense.”