The Sustainable Fuel Register (SFR) came into operation in February 2017. Anyone using non-wood fuels in their RHI accredited boiler prior to this would have had only one option open to them, to demonstrate that their fuel fulfilled the Sustainability Criteria – Self Reporting.
In order for registrants to meet the Land Criteria, we need to be satisfied that the land on which non-wood fuels were grown was not a protected site back in 2008. For individual applicants who are self-supplying fuels such as straw from their own farm, this is reasonably easy to prove. They simply need to send us land records (e.g. Rural Payments documentation) or a relevant Google Earth image of the land where the fuel was produced. See this previous blog for more information.
Do you have a biomass boiler? Are you receiving payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive?
If so, you are probably using wood chip or wood pellets as the fuel. However, the potential of using cheaper, alternative non-wood fuels such as straw, miscanthus, waste coffee grain pellets, sunflower husk pellets to name just a few is growing. Many of these fuels are being registered on the Sustainable Fuel Register (SFR), which may make them eligible for RHI payments as long as they meet the emissions criteria for your boiler.
If you own a wood pellet boiler, you are likely to have run into problems finding an adequate supply of wood pellets at a decent price this winter. The reason for this is that the unseasonably warm winter across Europe has restricted timber harvesting. This has had a knock-on effect, causing the residues produced by sawmills (e.g. sawdust, slab wood and offcuts), which are typically used to produce pellets, to be in short supply. As a result, European wood fibre prices have risen and so has the price of imported pellets.
Land criteria... these two simple words can fill most people with fear and confusion, and I can understand why. The guidance from BEIS and Ofgem is vague at best, and it’s difficult to understand what it means for you. There is no “one size fits all” answer, but having dealt with a variety of different fuel applications it gives us a good idea of what is easy, reasonable and importantly, will meet the requirements.
To get started, here are some simple questions that you can ask yourself:
Is my fuel grown under a voluntary scheme such as the Energy Crops Scheme?
The NFU has announced today that it has bought leading agriculture energy consultancy FEC Energy.
Currently, FEC Energy provides help to farmers to buy and sell energy, generate heat and electricity, use energy more efficiently and reduce the compliance burden of energy regulation.
A new report summarising over five years of work commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has concluded that the UK should be capable of growing around 1.4 million hectares of second generation bioenergy crops by 2050.
The UK is a nation of horse lovers. Estimates suggest that the UK horse population is around 796,000, which makes us second only to France in the 28 EU member states. That’s one horse for every 12.4 people! Anyone who owns a horse will know that they produce a great deal of waste.
We will be at Energy Now Expo on the 8th and 9th February 2017, at Telford International Centre. Come and see us on the NFU Energy Service stand number 105. Andrew Kneeshaw and Jon Swain, along with some other members of the team, will be on hand to answer all your energy questions, whether it’s how you can get a better price for your contract, selling your on-site generated electricity or improving the energy efficiency of your farm.
Jon Swain, from FEC Energy, will be giving a presentation on the Sustainable Fuel Register (SFR) at the largest UK wood fuel conference in Edinburgh next week. Wood Heat 2016 will be at Edinburgh Zoo on the 28th and 29th November 2016.
Organised by the Wood Heat Association (WHA) and the Renewable Energy Association (REA), Wood Heat 2016 brings together all parts of the UK biomass heat and CHP industry in a unique event designed to share and promote good practice.