1) Sustainability criteria:
Renewable Heat Incentive
In order to ensure the sustainability of biomass fuel,
sustainability criteria for the Governments Renewable Heat
Incentive scheme, will dictate that, from Spring 2015, in order to
be eligible for the RHI, biomass installations will be required to
demonstrate, either through reporting or sourcing from an approved
supplier, that their biomass meets a greenhouse gas lifecycle
emissions limit target. For information on the Biomass Suppliers
list and how to register
click here. A Biomass Suppliers List workshop was held in June
2014, to see the presentations
For advice on the procurement of timber and timber products,
forest certification schemes and other forms of evidence of
sustainability (Category B evidence) see the
Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement (CPET)
Since 1 April 2011, biomass electricity generators over 50KW
have been required to report against the following sustainability
- Minimum 60% GHG emission saving for electricity generation
using solid biomass or biogas relative to fossil fuel
- General restrictions on using materials sourced from land with
high biodiversity value or high carbon stock - including primary
forest, peatland, and wetlands
Following a 2-year transition period, it is intended that from
October 2013 generating stations of 1 megawatt (MW) capacity and
above will be required to meet the criteria in order to receive
Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) under the RO.
Under changes announced on 23rd August 2013, Biomass electricity
will produce over 70% greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil
fuel alternatives. From April 2015, the biomass industry will
be required to demonstrate their fuel is sustainable or lose
financial support under the RO.
The new criteria for sustainable forest management are based on
a range of issues such as:
- sustainable harvesting rates,
- biodiversity protection and
- land use rights for indigenous populations.
Organisations who do not comply with the new requirements could
see financial support withheld.
All generators of 1 Megawatt (MW) capacity or more using solid
biomass or biogas feedstock will be required to demonstrate that
they are meeting the criteria in order to claim support under the
Renewables Obligation. This would cover around 98% of all biomass
power generation in the UK.
On 23rd August 2013, a new requirement for generators of 1MW
capacity and above to provide an independent sustainability audit
with their annual sustainability report, was also announced.
For further information on the August 2013
Ofgem has produced guidance on how to comply with
sustainability criteria, for further information
2) Forestry and woodland management
In Scotland, all woodland owners (indeed anyone who wishes to
fell a tree) must obtain a licence from Forestry Commission
Scotland and comply with the legal and replanting requirements this
Information about felling
licences is on Forestry Commission Scotland's
UK Forestry Standard
Forestry practice in Scotland must adhere to the UK Forestry
Standard. This is currently being revised to
demonstrate further improvements in sustainable practices.
UK Woodland Assurance Standard
UK woodland owners can certify their woodland management
practices against an independent standard, the UK Woodland
Assurance Standard (UKWAS), which is a single common
standard used within forest certification programmes in the UK.
Certification means that you can carry the logo of
international, independent organizations such as the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of
Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).
These organisations set sustainability standards covering
biodiversity and environmental impacts, workers rights, indigenous
people's rights, legal frameworks, monitoring and assessment and
best practice. All contractors and subcontractors must produce an
audit and chain of custody trail for their fuel stock.