Scotland Caps Biomass Aid at 15 Megawatts, Sets Solar Rate

Scotland removed a subsidy for biomass power plants that generate more than 15 megawatts because of concerns they will use up too much wood.

Facilities that use the heat they produce as well as power will still get the subsidy, known as a Renewables Obligation, the Scottish government said today in an e-mailed statement.

Scotland is trying to balance a goal of boosting investment in renewable energy with the needs of industries such as timber. The country plans to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade and on Jan. 29 set a goal to cut emissions from the power industry by 2030.

“We have made clear our concerns over competition for a finite supply of wood, and our belief that there should be a greater focus on biomass in smaller scale energy projects wherever possible,” Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said.

Generators will retain support for a maximum of five years should they lose customers for the heat produced because of circumstances beyond their control, according to the statement.

The government also said that from April building-mounted solar plants will get 1.7 Renewables Obligation Certificates a megawatt-hour and 1.4 ROCs from 2016. Ground-mounted solar will get 1.6 ROCs from April, falling to 1.2 ROCs in 2016.

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