The Government are asking for your view on subsidies for biomass electricity.
Biomass electricity - burning wood to generate electricity - generates about 9% of the UK's electricity, a proportion which is steadily growing. The main reason for its expansion is the generous subsidies it attracts: £817 million last year. This would be good news if biomass was a clean, green source of energy. Unfortunately, it's not.
Biomass is a 'carbon con', frequently emitting more CO2 than the fossil fuels its replacing, and in some cases, more than burning coal. However, a loophole allows power companies to discount these emissions, and class burning wood a 'carbon saving'. Biomass is also harming forests: much of the wood burnt in UK power stations comes from endangered wetland forests in the South-East USA, or from monoculture plantations which have replaced what were once wild places, home to many different species.
We don't need biomass electricity. Onshore wind and solar perform better than biomass on every front : they emit far less carbon, they are many times more efficient, and the costs for the technology continue to come down rapidly. However, last year the Government slashed support for onshore wind and solar so it stands at a fraction of that given to biomass.
Now biomass looks like it's going to receive even more subsidy. This is madness. Forests are not a 'feedstock'. They are a habitat. Please write to the Government and ask them to end support for this destructive technology.
We have written a template response to the consultation here (but feel free to write your own response), along with details of how to send it. The deadline for responses is the 20th December.
For more information as to why we want to end subsidies for biomass electricity, take a look at our new webpage.