BEIS Launch their Biomass Strategy: Call for Evidence in a Pivotal Moment for AD
BEIS have put out a call for evidence to feed into the development of the Biomass Strategy – one of the most crucial policies for AD industry in recent years. It its first update in ten years, the Biomass Strategy will identify the optimum sources of biomass and decide where this is best used within the economy. It will include an increased focus on the sustainability and circularity of feedstocks, and consider wider impacts on environment, biodiversity, air quality and water targets.
In their call for evidence, BEIS are seeking to strengthen their evidence base around five key areas:
- Availability of sustainable biomass from domestic and international sources
- How biomass should be used to support net zero target (end use)
- Opportunities for innovation
- Sustainability of the supply chain,
- Accounting of the GHG emissions form biomass use (including BECCS)
Using the evidence collected through this consultation BEIS aims to; review the amount of biomass available to the UK and how this can best be used, assess the current biomass sustainability standards and identify where they can be improved, and develop further understanding on the role that BECCS will have in reducing carbon emissions across the economy.
Breakdown of the Consultation
The consultation splits its call for evidence into four separate chapter themes.
Chapter One: Supply. This chapter calls for evidence on a variety of feedstocks from national and international sources, and will assess the size and make-up of the domestic biomass resource. This will also assess opportunities, risks, benefits, and trade-offs to increasing domestic production of national biomass as well as looking further into imports.
Chapter 2: End use. Chapter 2 will assess the role and potential of different feedstock types to support the decarbonisation of different areas: agriculture, chemicals and materials, transport, and power. The consultation asks which areas are best suited for priority applications in the short and long-term, and seeks to understand policy gaps and wider barriers that need to be overcome to realise their potential. The development of Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage is also explored in this chapter.
Chapter 3: Sustainability and Accounting for Emissions. Chapter 3 calls for views on the current sustainable biomass criteria and potential amendments to support the wider goals of the policy’s objectives, as well as how these can be monitored. It also seeks evidence around on Life Cycle Emissions (LCEs) from both domestic and international biomass is being sought, with the implications of these on carbon budgets and reporting. Chapter 3 also calls for evidence on options for reflecting the LCEs of biomass within the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, carbon pricing, and reporting standards as well as the accounting and reporting of negative emisisons delivered by BECCS.
Chapter 4: Innovation. The final section of the consultation questions the role of innovation to maximise the use of the biomass supply and meeting decarbonisation targets, and how it might reduce cost and barriers to deployment.
This is a critical moment for AD, and an opportunity to help carve out AD’s future in the decarbonisation of the industry. It is vital that we provide robust evidence to demonstrate the industry’s potential, and ensure that the right biomass is being diverted to the most optimum technology whilst scaling up innovation in order to deliver maximum environmental services.
Over the upcoming weeks, we will be running stakeholder engagement groups alongside surveys to gather as much industry feedback as possible to feed into our response. Our first stakeholder engagement session will be online on Friday 7th May 2021 at 09.30am – 12.00pm. More details will be released shortly, and we welcome all industry stakeholders, national and international, to feed into the consultation.
 For the purpose of the consultation – Biomass refers to any material of biological origin (including wastes) which is used as a fuel for bioenergy (conventional combustion, gasification, energy from waste and low-carbon fuels like biofuels and hydrogen) or in products (such as chemicals, bio-plastics and timber for construction).