In March 2017, BEIS published a new Woodfuel guidance document. The first edition of the Woodfuel Guidance, published here, stated that generators and participants must comply with the Timber Standard’s sustainability principles. These principles have since been written directly into the Renewables Obligation Order 2015 and the Renewable Heat Incentive Regulations 2011 (as amended) and are incorporated into the Contract for Difference and Investment Contracts. Version 2 of the Woodfuel Guidance contains some re-referencing and some minor changes to the terminology to account for this change
Those using biomass to produce heat or electricity will have to comply with mandatory sustainability critera to receive incentives, once the 2015 amended renewable obligation and renewable heat incentive orders come into force (and from April under the CFD). These criteria include a greenhouse gas and a land criteria. This guidance sets out the land criteria for those producing heat and electricity from woodfuel.
For woodfuel, the land criteria is as set out in the timber standard for heat and electricity. This requires woodfuel users to put in place sustainable forest management practices, and to provide evidence that wood can be traced from a sustainable source.
The guidance is split into three documents. The woodfuel advice note is the main document, with other useful detail provided in the other documents:
- The woodfuel advice note provides a helpful summary of all the requirements for complying with the timber standard, what other requirements to be aware of, and where to find further information (including CPET, BSL, Ofgem).
- The consignments and mass balance approach document sets out how suppliers should operate a ‘mass balance’ system and how sustainability data reported to Ofgem should be disaggregated into ‘consignments’.
- The risk based regional assessment: a checklist approach document describes how to use a checklist approach to operate a risk based regional assessment, and the kinds of bespoke evidence that would be acceptable in meeting sustainability requirements.
Further sources of information: