Biomass - Sustainability Criteria
From Monday 5th October 2015 if you produce heat or energy using a timber biomass fuel, and receive RHI payments, your fuel will have to comply with the 'Woodfuel Land Criteria'.
What is the Woodfuel Land Criteria?
The woodfuel Land Criteria is a set of sustainability requirements that ensure that Green House Gas emissions and carbon emissions remain low through out the cultivation, processing and transportation of timber fuels.
Who does the Woodfuel Land Criteria effect?
These new regulations will have a more noticeable effect on biomass fuel providers, but it does effect the end users.
As of Monday 5th October 2015 it is the responsibility of RHI scheme members to purchase their timber fuel from certified fuel providers and depending on the kW size of your installation you will be asked to provide proof either monthly or annually to ofgem that you are complying with the rules.
What do I have to do to comply with the Woodfuel Land Criteria?
If you are not a member of any government subsidy scheme, you are not required to comply, however, at Shaw Renewables we would always recommend using the best quality fuels available to keep your boiler running efficiently.
If you are a member of a government subsidy scheme you should have received communication from ofgem concerning the criteria, if you have not you can contact ofgem on, 0845 200 2122.
If you purchase your timber fuel from a supplier, then you need to ensure that:
- The timber you are buying is either FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC ( programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification') certified.
- The supplier you are buying from is registered with the government's Biomass Supplier's List (BSL). Failure to source wood fuel from a registered supplier could result in the withdrawal of RHI payments.
Why is the Woodfuel Land Criteria so important?
Biomass fuels are a low carbon alternative to fossil fuels, but if fuel sources, such as trees aren't farmed responsibly, or transported thousands of miles before they reach the end user, then the carbon savings are cancelled out and the process becomes just an unstable and unsustainable as a fossil fuel.
To ensure that biomass fuels continue to be a low carbon and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels,
legislation has been brought in. This legislation ensures that biomass fuels emit 60% less Green House Gases than the european fossil fuel average.
The cultivation, processing and transport of biomass fuels all add to the dangerous levels of GHGs in the atmosphere, so ensuring that all processes associated with biomass heating fuel are energy efficient and as clean as possible, allows renewable technology producers to continue being part of the solution and not the problem.
You can view Ofgem's PDF guide to keeping records for fuel sustainability here.