6 October 2000
Bio-energy firms ‘unfairly treated’

By FWi staff

BIOMASS companies say they have been badly treated in Government plans to force energy companies to use more renewable energy sources.

Low-cost energy producers such as onshore wind farms and generators burning methane appear to be winners in the plans, says the Financial Times.

But David Williams, chief executive of Energy Power, operator of the worlds biggest straw-fired power station, said his sector have been treated unfairly.

Trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers wants to increase the proportion of “green” electricity bought by suppliers from 3% to 10% by 2010.

Companies which fail to meet this target face penalties at the rate of 3p/kWh.

Mr Williams said higher penalties are needed if biomass and offshore wind schemes are to compete with cheaper competitors.

And industry group British Biogen argues there should be a two-tier system to take account of different renewable energy costs.

Renewable energy costs vary from 3p/kWh for landfill gas, up to 6p/kWh for biomass projects.