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Biofuels

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 29th November 2011.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the average proportion of stemwood combusted in biomass generating plants in the UK in each of the last five years.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The sustainability reporting requirements under the renewables obligation (RO) do not require operators to provide this level of detail.

The types of wood reported to Ofgem as combusted in biomass generating stations include brash, recycled wood, wood from tree surgery, forestry and timber processing rejects, forest stumps, sawmill co-products and offcuts, forestry waste wood, wood pellets, recycled fibre, small roundwood, sawdust and sawmill chip. Of these, only brash and forest stumps would be considered as sources that specifically exclude stemwood content. Other sources except roundwood may contain a mix of stemwood and non-stemwood.

Wood provided around 36% of the five million tonnes of solid biomass and energy crop reported as feedstocks in the renewables obligation (RO) returns for 2010-11.

The returns submitted to Ofgem give a total of 1.82 million tonnes of wood as combusted from April 2010 to March 2011. 16,088 tonnes, around 0.9% of the total wood, was reported as sourced from brash and/or forest stumps.

Wood provided around 53% of the 4.1 million tonnes of solid biomass and energy crop reported as feedstocks in the renewables obligation returns for 2009-10.

The returns submitted to Ofgem give a total of 2.14 million tonnes of wood combusted from April 2009 to March 2010. 21,330 tonnes, equivalent to around 1% of the total wood, was reported as sourced from brash and/or forest stumps.

Biomass sustainability reporting was introduced under the renewables obligation in April 2009.

We do not hold data prior to this date.

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