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Grants and support
The use of biomass as an energy source can have numerous benefits personally, locally, nationally and globally.  Many countries, including the UK, offer a range of grants and incentives to encourage its use and development.

For convenience grants and support are divided into those that help support the purchase, installation or development of equipment, those that support the fuels supply chain, and those that provide consultancy and advice.


Schemes to support uptake and new installations

Scheme Notes Availability
Businesses Charities / Not for Profit Public Sector Private individuals

Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency Finance

Flexible loans for SMEs to allow investment in energy saving equipment.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Scheme

DECC launched the 1st phase of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund scheme on 23 August 2012. This is a competitive funding scheme to support the development and demonstration of innovative, new technologies, products and processes in the areas of:

  • Energy efficiency and building technologies
  • Power generation and storage

Yes

Yes

Yes

E.ON Energy Action Fund

A grant from E.ON for community groups and not for profit organizations planning to install sustainable energy projects

Yes

Enhanced Capital Allowance

Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) enable a business to claim 100% first-year capital allowances on their spending on qualifying plant and machinery.

Yes

Feed-in tariffs

A mechanism to support small scale generators of renewable electricity, up to 5 MWe to complement the Renewables Obligation for large scale generators. Applies to AD but not currently solid biomass.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rural Development Programme

The RDP is a significant sum of European funding for the development of rural areas. Funding is available for a wide range of activities including the development and diversification of land based businesses and the installation of biomass boilers. Funding has yet to be finalised for the next round starting in 2014.

Yes

Yes

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) opened for applications in November 2011, and provides financial assistance to generators of renewable heat, and producers of renewable biogas and biomethane. The details of the domestic RHI were announced July 2013, opening to applications Spring 2014.

RHI is now also available in Northern Ireland

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes (from 2014)

Renewable Heat Premium Payments

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme is a government scheme that gives money to householders to help them buy renewable heating technologies solar thermal panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers. As from next year, the Renewable Heat Incentive will expand to cover the domestic sector and the Green Deal will come into force, so this is a short-term scheme making one-off payments that will also allow us to learn more about what people think of these technologies and how they perform in a variety of conditions.

Yes

WRAP Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund

The ADLF offers direct financial support to organisations building new AD capacity in England. It aims to ensure that food waste is diverted from landfill or from other, less environmentally sustainable operations, up the waste hierarchy. The purpose of the loan fund is to leverage or top up private sector funding (not to replace it) or to materially accelerate the projects.

Yes

Yes

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Schemes to support fuel production and supply chains

Scheme Notes Availability
Businesses Charities / Not for Profit Public Sector Private individuals

Forestry Commission Grants

A portfolio of grants managed by the Forestry Commission. Aims to help promote the stewardship of existing woodlands, the creation of new woodlands, and increase benefits to the public. The grant schemes vary across the UK:

England

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rural Development Programme

The RDP is a significant sum of European funding for the development of rural areas. Funding is available for a wide range of activities including the development and diversification of land based businesses and the installation of biomass boilers. Funding has yet to be finalised for the next round starting in 2014.

Yes

Yes

Single Payment Scheme

Payments to farmers based on the total farm size, rather than specific crop areas.

Yes

Yes

Yes

WRAP

Capital grants to SMEs to help promote the recycling of a number of materials, including food waste processing.

Yes

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Schemes to provide advice, consultancy and other support

Scheme Notes Availability
Businesses Charities / Not for Profit Public Sector Private individuals

Carbon Trust Energy Survey

Free energy audit for businesses with an annual energy spend of more than 50,000

Yes

Energy Saving Trust

Information and advice though local Advice Centres

Yes

Yes

Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company

The Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company has now become Community Energy Scotland, a new Scottish Charity set up to support communities throughout Scotland to develop sustainable energy projects. The work and staff of HICEC have now transferred to this new company, providing free advice and support to community groups for renewable energy projects in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Yes

Lightfoot Wood Stove Project

The Lightfoot Wood Stove Project is based in Mid Wales and designed to try to effect behavioural change in householders in an attempt to use Woodfuel, in this case logs, as efficiently as possible. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of best practice when using Woodfuel in a stove, to get the most out of the woodfuel (with the added cost-savings benefits) and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Yes

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Applied Research, Development and Technology Transfer

Scheme Notes Availability
Businesses Charities / Not for Profit Public Sector Private individuals

Carbon Trust Applied Research Programme

Applied research grants for UK businesses and research institutions to support the development and commercialization of carbon reduction technology.

Yes

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Schemes to support large scale biomass use and electricity generation

Scheme Notes Availability
Businesses Charities / Not for Profit Public Sector Private individuals

Climate Change Levy

CCL is a tax on the use of energy in industry, commerce and the public sector. Electricity generated from new renewable energy and good quality CHP schemes are exempt.

Yes

Yes

Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme

The Carbon Reduction is a mandatory carbon emissions trading scheme for all organizations using more than 6,000 MWh per year of electricity

Yes

Yes

Yes

EU Emissions Trading System

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) puts a cap on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by business and creates a market and price for carbon allowances.

Yes

Feed-in tariffs

A mechanism to support small scale generators of renewable electricity, up to 5 MWe to complement the Renewables Obligation for large scale generators. Applies to AD but not currently solid biomass.

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Renewables Obligation

Under the Renewables Obligation (RO) licensed electricity suppliers are required to source a percentage of the electricity supplied from eligible renewable sources, including both dedicated and co-fired biomass. NIRO (Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation) has different banding levels from the rest of the UK.

Yes

WRAP Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund

The ADLF offers direct financial support to organisations building new AD capacity in England. It aims to ensure that food waste is diverted from landfill or from other, less environmentally sustainable operations, up the waste hierarchy. The purpose of the loan fund is to leverage or top up private sector funding (not to replace it) or to materially accelerate the projects.

Yes

Yes

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Schemes closed to new applications

Scheme Notes

Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme

Closed 31st March 2010 This scheme supported the installation of biomass-fuelled heat and combined heat and power projects in the industrial, commercial and community sectors.

Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme

A grant scheme to help develop the supply chain for woodfuel, energy crops and straw in England.

Carbon Trust Biomass Heat Accelerator

A technology accelerator project from the Carbon Trust, aimed to examine and address the key barriers to the uptake of biomass in the UK.

CO2Sense Investment Fund

Investment funding on a 'revenue share' basis.

Community Sustainable Energy Programme

Funds to community-based organisations for feasibility studies and the installation of microgeneration technologies

Community Energy Programme

A programme to promote schemes to provide heat and/or power to a number of buildings from a central source.

Community Renewables Initiative

Free advice and training to help local people and organizations devise and implement small scale renewable energy developments.

DTI Technology Programme

Designed to stimulate research and development between UK based firms and between UK based firms and the science base. The work of the programme has been taken over by the Technology Strategy Board

Energy Crops Scheme

Establishment grants for land owners in England to plant energy crops including short rotation coppice (SRC) and miscanthus

East of England Development Agency's Cut Your Carbon Campaign

Cut your Carbon is a regional initiative helping communities respond to climate change by reducing their carbon emissions.

Energy Aid Payments Scheme

EU payments for crops grown for use in the production of energy (heat electricity or transport fuels) on non-set-aside land. Managed through the Rural Payments Agency.

EU Seventh Research Framework (FP7)

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is a core EC funding programme for research within the EU.

Farm Business Development Scheme

A business development scheme for farmers in Scotland to allow diversification into alternative agricultural production.

Forestry Micro-Enterprise Grant

Small grants towards buying new machinery or equipment, building handling or storage facilities or installing woodfuel systems.

East Midlands Forestry Micro-enterprise Grant

Small grants towards buying new machinery or equipment, building handling or storage facilities or installing woodfuel systems.

F.I.R.E.

The aim of FIRE is to help SMEs rise to the challenges facing them as the European Renewable Energy Sector (RES) grows.

Invest NI SME Energy Grant Scheme

Providing financial aid to businesses that wish to adopt energy efficient practices, install energy efficient technologies or implement energy efficient projects.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Replacement for the Clear Skies and Solar PV grant schemes to support microgeneration technologies, including bio-energy and energy efficiency.

Low Carbon Communities Challenge

A scheme to provide financial and advisory support to 20 'test-bed' communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland seeking to cut carbon emissions

Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund

A fund to help support the development of district heating infrastructure in new housing developments and refurbishment of existing homes

Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme

Grants for the installation of biomass heating systems in business premises and district heating demonstrators.

Scottish Biomass Support Scheme

Grants to support both supply chain, and heat and CHP installations.

Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative

New schemes for communities and households in Scotland

Scottish Forestry Grants Scheme

Grants for woodland expansion, restocking and stewardship.

Short Rotation Coppice Challenge Fund

A support programme for the establishment of willow short rotation coppice for heat, CHP or power generation in Northern Ireland.

South West Cleantech Co-investment Fund

Providing business loans to match new equity capital being issued to new shareholders in an eligible company.

UK Emissions Trading Scheme

Wetland Biomass to Bio-Energy Competition

A SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) competition from DECC to develop and demonstrate a bioenergy process that optimises wetland management activities and utilises the biomass arisings

Wood Energy Business Scheme

A Forestry Commission Wales initiative to establish a network of wood fuelled installations across Wales, producing clean heat and electricity and strengthening the timber supply chain.

Woodland Grant Scheme

The WGS has been replaced in England by the English Woodland Grant Scheme suite of grants. In Wales the WGS will close to new applications on 31st August 2006 and be replaced by Better Woodland for Wales. In Scotland it has been replaced by the Scottish Forestry Grants Scheme.

Woodfuel East Strategic Investment Support Programme

A grant programme from Woodfuel East to support woodchip production, storage, drying etc. for fuel.

West Midlands Local Authority Low Carbon Economy Programme

Small grants to support training and development of low carbon technologies.

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The Microgeneration Certification Scheme
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an independent scheme that certifies microgeneration products and installers in accordance with consistent standards. It is designed to evaluate microgeneration products and installers against robust criteria providing greater protection for consumers.

MCS certification of both equipment and installer was required for grant support under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, and is most likely to be required to receive payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive