This has to be the oldest technology utilized by man – basically taking bits of dried plant and setting fire to them. The technology has moved on considerably, and this can consist of burning logs in a woodburning room heater, or running your central heating from a log batch boiler or a wood pellet boiler. This approach is only recommended where a property is off mains gas, as gas is a relatively low carbon fossil fuel, and is relatively inexpensive (compared to oil and LPG). Examples of possible payback periods and costs are detailed in the case studies - click on the links at the bottom of this page to read them.
Domestic biomass central heating is currently subject to a grant of £2000 available through the Energy Saving Trust, but this ends in April 2014. At this point the domestic element to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is introduced, paying the householder for producing renewable heat. For biomass this will be paid at 12.2p per kWh generated by the system - however, the amount will be pre-determined by a heat home loss calculation which is obtained from a Green Deal assessment. The total amount paid is likely to be between £1000 and £5000 per year, paid quarterly across 7 years.
Commercial properties can already benefit from RHI payments of up to 8.6p per kWh(heat) generated – call WREN for further information. RHI payments continue for 20 years. WREN, through LEAF funding, worked with ten commercial heat users in its area, and this collaboration showed the potential of saving some 55,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. Paybacks can be extremely quick, as short as 3 years, and revenue costs can be more than supported by RHI payments. Since then, one of the subject businesses has installed biomass heating for a hotel complex, saving a six figure sum annually in energy payments.
WREN is also working to quantify and volume and economics of the biomass potentially available within the WREN area from little managed forests and hedgerows. The intention is to provide a local supply chain of local biomass that will then become a predictable energy resource for participating individuals and businesses.
WREN Case Studies
Wadebridge Energy Company partners with South West Water
For the first time in nearly ninety years, Wadebridge will have its own electricity generating company. Wadebridge Energy Company will install solar panels on roofs and is working with South West Water on an installation to power one of its treatment works.
£10,000 grants for local causes
£10,000 from the Middle Treworder solar farm has been presented to eight community groups in the Wadebridge area.Read more...
Vote for locally owned energy
The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) has applied for two grants from Energyfund Cornwall to make a significant step forward for locally-owned community energy. However, to have a chance of winning them it needs to demonstrate support through on-line voting by its supporters for both projects.