23 Nov 2009 02:13 PM
DECC invites applicants for £1.5 million Bio-energy infrastructure grants

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 23 November 2009

Farmers, foresters and local authorities can from today apply for £1.5 million grants to help develop the supply of biomass, such as wood chips or energy crops like miscanthus, in England through round three of the Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Lord Hunt said:

“As we approach Copenhagen we need to encourage business to invest in renewable energy. We have a target to get 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, and biomass can make a significant contribution.

“We funded 75 projects in round two of this scheme and we will continue to work to ensure that the supply chain is in place to create a thriving bio-energy market in England, which is good for the environment and good for business.”

As with previous rounds, the objectives of the scheme are to increase renewable energy generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while contributing to sustainable land management.

The Scheme provides grants to help the development of the supply chain required to harvest, process, store and supply biomass to heat, combined heat and power, and electricity end-users. The scheme is restricted to projects based in England and is open to businesses, local authorities and charities.

Grants will only be available for projects which complete by 31 March 2011. The deadline for receipt of applications is 26th February 2010, although applicant projects will be assessed on a rolling basis as they are received. The Department may also consider extending this deadline, depending on the rate of response. The scheme is administered on DECC’s behalf by TUV NEL Ltd.

For application forms, guidance and all information regarding the Scheme, please contact the Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme Helpline at TUV-NEL:

• Tel: 01355 593800
• E-mail: help@beis.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

1. The Infrastructure scheme is open to the following groups:

• Businesses who are small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

• And it applies to the following crops:

- Short rotation coppice (willow, poplar, alder, ash, hazel, lime, silver birch, sweet chestnut and sycamore), miscanthus, switch grass, reed canary grass, prairie cord grass, rye grass, straw, woodfuel from forestry, arboricultural tree management and primary processing and other energy crops at DECC’s discretion.

• And it does not apply to the following:

- Wood arising from secondary processing and any wood that has been chemically treated or painted, oilseed rape to be used to produce heat and electricity, biomass for processing into transport fuels or animal waste products (e.g. poultry litter, sewage etc)

2. Biomass will have an important role to play in meeting UK and EU targets for renewable energy.

3. Biomass energy can reduce carbon emissions because the carbon dioxide emitted as the biomass is burnt has already been offset by the carbon dioxide the crop absorbed as it grew; although these carbon savings will be affected by the energy used in the crop's cultivation, harvesting, processing and transportation. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide that has been locked away for millions of years.

4. The Department is presently preparing for Round 6 of the separate Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme (BECGS); a launch announcement will be made in December.

5. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is central to the UK Government’s leadership on climate change. We are pushing hard for an ambitious global deal in Copenhagen in December to avert the most dangerous impacts. Through our UK Low Carbon Transition Plan we are giving householders and businesses the incentives and advice they need to cut their emissions, we are enabling the energy sector’s shift to the trinity of renewables, new nuclear and clean coal, and we are stepping up the fight against fuel poverty.

Department of Energy and Climate Change
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Department of Energy and Climate Change