Biomass suppliers must register to prove fuel is sustainable
Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 21 May 2014 at 10:46 am
From October 2014, only fuel bought from a registered supplier can be used in biomass boilers, if their owners wish to claim the renewable heat incentive (RHI).
This is so the energy regulator Ofgem, who are administering the list, can reassure themselves that the biomass being supported under RHI has come from a sustainable source.
Businesses may register on the biomass suppliers list list by clicking here.
Application to the BSL is free but the process varies for different types of suppliers.
If you are a producer of biomass fuel, who sells either to trade or direct to consumers, you will need to make a greenhouse gas calculation based on the size of your company.
If your company is less than 50 staff, with a turnover of less than Euro10m, you can use a simplified calculator that is available on the application form.
If your operation is larger than that, you need to use the UK Solid and Gaseous Biomass Calculator.
To do the calculation, you’ll need information on the ‘lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions’ of your fuel for example the type of dryer you use to dry the fuel, the way in which you transport your fuel and the distances it travels. The emissions must meet the target of 34.8g CO2 equivalent for MJ or heat of 60% GHG (greenhouse gas) savings against the EU fossil fuel average.
If you are a trader who sells biomass fuel to consumers, then in order to register, you’ll need the following information about your suppliers:
- Their biomass supplier list license number
- The distance from their depot to yours
- The amount of fuel you get from them each year
It is suggested that traders encourage their suppliers to register first so these details are readily available to them.
If you wish to burn fuel that you have produced yourself AND your boiler is less than 1MW, then you will be able to register as a self supplier on the BSL without having to undertake any assessment. However, the wood you use must come from the same ‘estate’ as the installation in order for this to be the case. You may also top up this supply with fuel from either a registered supplier, or with waste woodfuel. The rules state that you must keep a record of the origin and amount of waste woodfuel used, for the purposes of auditing.
Ofgem plan to audit a small number of RHI applicants. Any biomass claimants who are found to be using wood from unsustainable sources, could face losing their subsidies.
Critics of the BSL have questioned whether the list will create a two tier market where fuel from the list costs more than non-compliant fuel.
DECC says there is ‘uncertainty’ about whether suppliers will pass the increased costs associated with compliance onto the consumer and that they will be ‘monitoring the impact of the BSL on fuel prices’.
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