Biomass Sustainability

Closed 14 Jul 2014

Opened 16 Jun 2014


This consultation was carried out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. In July 2016, the department merged with the Department for Business and Innovation and Skills to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Technical adjustments to the sustainability and reporting provisions for solid and gaseous biomass.

Why your views matter

This consultation proposes minor technical adjustments to five specific aspects of the existing or planned reporting requirements and sustainability criteria for biomass, which were previously announced in August 2013 in  the 'Government Response to the consultation on proposals to enhance sustainability criteria for the use of biomass feedstocks under the Renewables Obligation (RO)’     

The proposals are:

  • Proposal 1- To revise the Saw Logs definition in the Renewables Obligation  (RO)
  • Proposal 2 - To reconsider the reporting requirements for tree species in the RO
  • Proposal 3 – To provide exemptions from the Timber Standard for certain categories of wood for the Renewable Heat Incentive  (RHI) and RO
  • Proposal 4 – To add ‘highly biodiverse grasslands’ to the list of protected land types for the RHI and RO
  • Proposal 5 – Averaging of Greenhouse Gas Emissions across the year in the RO


Since the publication of the Government Response in August 2013, it has become evident that minor adjustments or clarification may be needed to some of the sustainability criteria to ensure the effective delivery of the policy intent set out in the  Government Response

Scope of proposals

All of the proposals would apply to the RO in England & Wales. Only proposals 3 and 4 would apply to the RHI in England, Scotland and Wales.  It is our intention that the forthcoming FIDeR contracts and generic Contracts for Difference (CfD) awarded under the Electricity Market Reform will follow the same approach as the sustainability criteria set under the RO.




  • General public
  • The Devolved Administrations
  • Non-Government Organisations


  • Renewable energy