Scotland will grandfather biomass, energy-from-waste and anaerobic digestion facilities following industry responses.
The decision follows responses to the consultation document Changes to the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2011. It is a U-turn from the original proposal to not grandfather biomass plants when the consultation was published in September. The Scottish Government had been concerned that wood fuel used to feed biomass plants may be classed as a ‘finite resource’.
But Scotland will review the current incentives for biomass for heat and power this year, discussing whether to make large-scale biomass for electricity plants ineligible for ROC support. It will also address whether there should be a threshold set for electricity-only biomass plants to ensure that relatively small-scale plants remain eligible for support and what that threshold should be.
Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “We are pleased that the Scottish Government has stepped back from its previous proposal. However it will provide little comfort to biomass generators as there will be a consultation next year on whether large biomass plants should be made completely ineligible for support in the future and, if so, what the size threshold should be.
“It may be well intentioned - the Scottish Government says it wants to see biomass going to heat only and small-scale combined heat and power - but making other plants ineligible would be precisely the wrong way of going about it.”
The UK Government does grandfather biomass facilities.