To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to his Department's report, Life Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report's conclusion that biomass can have the same environmental effects as fossil fuel; and if he will make a statement.
The report on the Life Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020 showed that biomass, when sourced responsibly, can provide a cost-effective, low carbon and controllable source of renewable energy. The Government has introduced some of the toughest sustainability criteria in the world and we have taken steps to strengthen them further, including by bringing forward proposals for mandatory sustainability requirements. The Department has committed to improving on the evidence base provided by the report. In December a tender was issued for a research contract to investigate the likelihood of occurrence in the period to 2030 of the scenarios identified in the report as potentially having higher carbon impacts than fossil fuelled alternatives.