A new report by the UK’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials, explores the potential of bioliquids to help the UK meet its ambitious renewable energy targets. The Department of Energy and Climate Change-funded report is now being used in the banding review of the Renewables Obligation.
There is increasing interest in using bioliquids, such as virgin or waste vegetable oils, to generate heat and electricity. The technology is particularly well suited to small-scale, urban and community-owned combined heat and power schemes.
However, due to uncertainties regarding bioliquid availability – as well as sustainability, planning and financial issues – the NNFCC believes uptake between now and 2020 is likely to be modest.
Under a low uptake scenario the report predicts bioliquids could generate 4.0% of the Renewable Energy Strategy 2020 target for renewable electricity and 6.0% of the target for renewable heat.
Key deployment challenges include current policy framework, supply chain infancy and uncertainty over fuel costs. Another issue is that bioliquids include feedstocks which are often seen as controversial by the general public, such as palm or soy oil. These issues must be addressed if bioliquids are to fulfil their potential, suggests the report.
“The report provides an in-depth market assessment of the various technologies and feedstock availabilities; factors which are central to informing policy on bioliquids,” says lead author Fiona McDermott.
“Bioliquids must be used sustainably. Support should be given to applications which offer good GHG savings potential, a technologically effective solution to onsite generation needs, or fill the gap where other renewable technologies are not viable.”
Dr Alison Hamer
Head of Communications and Marketing
Tel:+44 (0)1904 435182
Source: National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC), press release, 2011-03-08.