WRA ‘dismayed’ as waste wood excluded from carbon capture support scheme

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has said it is “dismayed” at the fact that waste-powered biomass plants have been excluded from a government consultation on planned support for biomass plants switching to carbon capture technology.

Around 2.7 million tonnes (63%) of waste wood in the UK was sent for biomass in 2022

This morning (18 January) the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero launched a consultation on  potential transitional support arrangements to support large-scale biomass electricity generators in their planned move to power bioenergy carbon capture and storage.

The department said this has the potential to deliver a significant volume of carbon removals that can make an “important contribution to our net zero ambitions”.

However, while not strictly excluded waste wood, the support is only applicable for plants which produce more than 100MW of energy, which is larger than all wood-powered plants.

This will come as a shock, as the WRA said it received confirmation last month that it was under consideration (see letsrecycle.com story).


The move was criticised by Richard Coulson, chair of the WRA and procurement manager at RWE.

Richard Coulson, chair of the WRA

He said: “We are dismayed that once again waste wood-powered biomass plants have been excluded from the support proposed in today’s consultation.

“The proposed criteria are especially disappointing, given that Energy Minister Graham Stuart wrote to us in November saying that the Government recognises the importance of waste wood-powered biomass and is considering transitional support for the sector.

“While we welcome proposed support for some operators to develop CCS under the Greenhouse Gas Removals business model, announced in December, transitional support is also required for these facilities post ROCs and for facilities which are not able to retrofit CCS.

“We need clarity as a matter of urgency over future support for our sector, given that current ROCs support for biomass plant operators starts to end from 2027.

“Our sector not only delivers low carbon, baseload power, but also provides an important environmental service by making the best use of end-of-life waste wood.

“We urgently call on the government to engage with our sector or risk losing all the benefits we provide and a critical tool in meeting carbon reductions targets.”

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