The UK government has unveiled an action plan boost the development of biomass-fuelled power and heat generation setting out 12 key steps to foster its use.

Measures include a new 5-year capital grant scheme for biomass boilers, with funding of £10 – £15 million ($20 – $30 million) over the first two years and a second round of the Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme.

Other measures include an agreement in principle to support for energy crops under the new Rural Development Programme for England to be introduced in 2007, closely integrated with bioenergy market development, and action to address regulatory barriers identified and to develop standards to improve efficacy and confidence in biomass. In addition, the government is to establish a new Biomass Energy Centre to provide expert information and advice, along with further grant support for biomass supply chains and a commitment to consider using biomass heating in government buildings.

The report forms the government response to a biomass task force report, which made 42 recommendations to the government last October.

Lord Bach, the minister for sustainable farming and food, said: “There is enormous potential in biomass, to generate renewable energy. This action plan provides us with a clear path forwards.”

Biomass currently accounts for 84% of the UK’s renewable energy generation and 1.4% of total generation.

The full report is available at