The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) has submitted its views on the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) Bio Energy review, which looks into the future of energy created from bio-based fuels like wood pellets and bio diesel and ways to expand its use as a means of cutting carbon emissions.
Following the Committee on Climate Change’s estimate that bio energy could provide as much as 15% of UK energy by 2050, REA’s review is anticipated to form the basis for a new policy strategy for Government and industry – and the FPS welcomes its publication.
“FPS members are keen to future-proof their businesses and the promotion of bio energy together with other renewable energy is likely to encourage investment within the industry, which can only be a good thing,” comments Guy Pulham, FPS Chief Executive.
“Some advances have already been made in the manufacture of bio fuels, and studies to-date have highlighted that low carbon liquid fuels can provide a heat performance that is as good, if not better, that the heat performance of fossil fuels like kerosene.
“There were successful trials of a bio fuel called B30k (30% FAME and 70% kerosene) in 2010, which resulted in the continued efficient operation of heating systems and lower carbon emissions from this mix than with other fuels. And more recently, members of Trade Association OFTEC have carried out laboratory combustion trials, burning hydrated vegetable oil (HVO) in blends of between 30% and 100% with kerosene, and these are proving promising from a heat and emissions view point.
“However, switching from fossil fuels to renewables, as a whole, is not going to happen overnight nor without consequences for the industry and consumers. Whilst we are all in agreement when it comes to the attainment of low carbon energy by 2050, finding solutions to enable this to happen in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way is key.
“There are costs involved in changing to a new energy source, and this is particularly true for the 1.5million homeowners in the UK and Northern Ireland whose homes are heated by oil, as well as for the 250,000 businesses that rely on oil for heating needs. As a rule, buildings heated by oil tend to be older and designed in such a way that makes moving from a liquid fuel very expensive. Indeed, research by National Energy Action and the Campaign to Protect Rural England shows that rural areas are five years behind urban areas in the energy efficiency of homes.
“Many consumers simply won’t be able to afford the upfront installation costs of some low carbon electric energy technologies and even those that can will potentially end up paying more for running costs.
“Instead, a mix of power solutions is needed as the right solution depends on the house and the finances of the homeowner. The FPS is keen to work together with the REA on finding solutions for everyone and views bio liquids as being an important part of the renewable mix.
“Greater and ongoing investment is needed into the research and development of new technologies like bio fuels and liquid fuels which can then form part of a low carbon energy mix in the future. This should in turn boost investment into infrastructure and promote further technological advances.
“Further investment is also needed to improve production efficiency and access to new technologies, so that all – and not just some – consumers can make the transfer to low carbon energy.
“The FPS would welcome a meeting with REA to discuss its proposals for bio energy further and find ways of working together in the most effective manner.”
8th March 2019