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First meet for biomass parliamentary group

The first meeting of the Biomass All Party Parliamentary Group has taken place at Westminster with an address by the Renewable Energy Association’s chief executive

With the Government’s Bioenergy Strategy imminent and crucial funding decisions expected at the start of summer in the Government’s response to the RO Banding Consultation, the industry turned out in force for this new forum.

The APPG hosted a debate in front of a packed room on ‘The Case for Sustainable Biomass’.  The debate was chaired by the Chairman of the new group Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty.

The expert panel was drawn from across a range of interests in the biomass sector including producers, generators, academics and conservationists.

Gaynor Hartnell spoke on behalf of the REA’s Back Biomass Campaign. The debate focused on the impact and importance of the new UK Government Sustainability Criteria (coming in to force in 2013) and how these will ensure that the biomass industry is cleaner and more sustainable than ever before.

Discussion also focused on the development of sustainability criteria at EU-level, currently undergoing consultation.

On behalf of the Renewable Energy Association’s ‘Back Biomass Campaign’, Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “The establishment of the Biomass APPG represents an important milestone in getting recognition for the importance of heat and power from sustainable biomass which offers proven, practical, secure low carbon energy as part of a balanced energy mix a message that the REA continues to drive home through the Back Biomass Campaign www.backbiomass.co.uk.

“The strength of support for the biomass APPG from the industry and beyond is a sign of the deep interest in the future of this technology and a signal to Government that clarity is needed to ensure the jobs and growth that biomass can deliver attracts the investment it needs.”

“Keeping up the pressure on Government remains as important as ever.”

Members of the panel included:

  • Charles Thwaites MBE, Forest Stewardship Council
  • Dr Jeremy Woods, Imperial College London
  • Dr Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy & Climate Change, NFU
  • Dr Nigel Burdett, Head of Environment, Drax
  • Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association