A report published today (7 December 2011) by the UK Government’s climate change advisers, the influential UK Committee on Climate Change, has cast further doubt over the viability of Forth Energy’s proposals for large-scale biomass plants in Leith, Grangemouth, Dundee and Rosyth.

Although forecasting a fivefold increase in bioenergy, the 92-page report recommends that new large-scale biomass power stations should not be eligible for subsidies given the competing demand for wood from the construction and industrial sectors.

The Scottish and UK governments are currently consulting on what level subsidies for biomass as well as other renewable technologies such as wind should be set. The consultation is due to finish 13 January 2012. Francis Stuart, Friends of the Earth Scotland Parliamentary and Policy Officer, said:

“While we have concerns that the substantial increase in biomass forecast in this report could put pressure on world forests, it’s clear the Committee on Climate Change believe large-scale power plants, such as Forth Energy’s proposals, have no role to play in our energy future and shouldn’t receive subsidies. Forth Energy should take heed and withdraw their applications.

“Unfortunately they show no sign of doing so. Its imperative then that the Scottish Government rule out subsidies for unsustainable biomass. While they’ve made the right noises, the changes proposed in their review don’t go far enough. We need to ensure biomass demand in Scotland doesn’t outstrip demand, that all the biomass we grow and use is done so sustainably, and that when we do use biomass for energy it is done so in the most efficient manner.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1.For the UKCCC report see:
www.theccc.org.uk/news
 www.theccc.org.uk/reports/bioenergy-review

2. For the Scottish Government consultation on the Renewable Obligation scheme see
www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/10/27123530/0

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk