Why is biomass a hot topic?

Biomass energy is becomingly increasingly popular as a means of providing on-site heat. A biomass boiler works much like a regular boiler only the heat is generated through burning biomass fuels like wood chips, wood pellets, logs and straw. The systems are easy to install and can be connected to an existing heating system. Once up and running they require little maintenance and some systems are self-fed and self-cleaning.

Alternative energy

The technology for biomass boilers has been around for over 20 years so why is it only in recent years that biomass has suddenly become so popular?

Firstly, the price of energy has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly for those who rely on electricity, LPG or oil to heat their premises. More businesses are looking to alternative methods of on-site generation to combat the rising costs.

Secondly, the introduction of the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) subsidy has made biomass a very attractive financial investment opportunity. The subsidy provides payment to businesses for heating that is fuelled from renewable energy sources like biomass. Unlike fossil fuels like coal, biomass is considered to be renewable because it can be replenished. Some biomass systems can also burn waste fuels like food waste, crop residues and industrial waste like paper pulp, helping to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.

Similar to the Feed in Tariff for renewable electricity generation, the RHI is guaranteed for 20 years and RPI linked. Payments are received every three months and systems can earn up to 30% ROI. In some cases where the biomass is replacing a solely electrical supply the payback on a system may be as little as 3 years. For example, over 20 years an 80kWp system replacing an electric supply may see in the region of £480,000 in revenue and savings, after installation. With such excellent returns it is easy to see why biomass is becoming a popular investment.

As with other renewable energy subsidies there is a limited amount of funding for the RHI and so the opportunity to earn revenue from this energy source is only available for a short period of time. However, those who are already signed up to the RHI are guaranteed to receive payments for the next 20 years.

GMI Energy specialise in the delivery of sustainable biomass energy systems, ensuring the selection of a suitable system, which can be supplied from a local sustainable supply of fuel to provide low-carbon energy that also generates good returns for the client.

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