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Biomass Grants

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 6 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Biomass Grants

The use of biomass is one way of combating climate change. To promote interest in biomass, and encourage projects that employ it to generate energy, the government offers a number of related grant schemes.

Biomass: What is it?

Biomass is organic matter. It comes from living organisms - or organisms that have recently died. Biomass for fuel usually derives from plants, but it may also originate from vegetable and animal materials.

Carbon Dioxide and Sustainable Energy

All organic matter absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2). When the organic matter breaks down, CO2 and methane enter the atmosphere. Burning organic matter also has the same effect. Organic matter is the source of common fuels such as gas, oil and coal. But this matter is millions of years old. It therefore absorbed CO2 from the earth's atmosphere long before humans appeared.

When gas, oil and coal burn, they release CO2 into the air. In other words, they add to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by recycling the carbon that the original organic matter absorbed millions of years before. This process creates an imbalance in the earth's CO2 and contributes to global warming.

Biomass fuel, when burned and converted into energy, also creates CO2. But the difference between biomass fuel and fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal is time. Biomass removes CO2 from the air when it grows, and returns it soon afterwards when it burns. The result is no increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. If properly managed, biomass is a sustainable energy source.

Biomass Sources

The five sources of most biomass are:

  • Energy crops such as wheat
  • Virgin wood
  • Residual agricultural products
  • Industrial waste and products
  • Food waste

Four Grant Categories

The environmental benefits of biomass have led to various grant-making schemes. These appear in one of three categories:
  1. research and development
  2. installation
  3. biomass fuel production

A number of organisations also give free advice and consultancy. These bodies include the Energy Saving Trust and the Scottish Energy Efficiency Office.

Research and Development

Businesses and research institutions can apply for grants from the Carbon Trust Applied Research Programme. The Programme supports applications that aim to develop carbon reduction technology and make it commercially viable. The Carbon Trust's research grants can meet up to 60% of a project's costs. Availability varies, however, according to UK region. It's therefore important for applicants to make grant enquiries with the Carbon Trust Customer Centre in advance. The maximum amount of a grant is £500,000.

The European Union also has grants for research into carbon technology. The initiative is part of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme known as FP7. The total FP7 budget is more than 50 billion euros. Energy related projects attract a lot of this funding, including those related to renewable energy. Businesses, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations can apply for FP7 help.

Installation

A wide range of grants exist for the installation of biomass technology. Some grants apply to specific sectors; others are available to most commercial and not-for-profit organisations. In some instances, private individuals can even apply for money. It's wise to speak directly to a grant-making body to see who is prepared to help.

The Community Sustainable Energy Programme gives money to organisations based in the community. The grants fund studies into the pursuit of biomass projects. The Programme also provides money for the installation of equipment that uses biomass energy. Not-for-profit groups and community organisations can approach the energy supplier EON for grants to install biomass schemes. The grants are worth up to £20,000 each.

Forestry Micro-Enterprise Grants start at £2,500 and go up to £25,000. Businesses can apply for the money to help buy the equipment for energy systems that burn wood.

The Rural Development Programme is an EU-funded scheme to improve rural areas. Money from the scheme can pay for the installation of biomass boilers.

Biomass Fuel Production

The Energy Crops Scheme gives landowners grants to plant energy crops. The grants meet half of all eligible costs. Forestry Commission grants encourage the use of wood as a biomass fuel. The grants aim to improve the management of existing forest areas, and boost the development of new woodlands.

The Rural Payments Agency manages an EU support mechanism. Landowners who grow energy crops on non-set-aside land can apply for grants. These come under the Energy Aid Payments Scheme.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) offers capital grants to small and medium-sized businesses. Applicants can submit grant requests for projects that turn materials such as food waste into energy.

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[Add a Comment]
I am trying to find out if there is any grants available to buy machinery for biomass.We have the ability to produce a lot of wood fuel given the we had the correct machine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ryan - 6-Oct-18 @ 1:58 PM
We are a specialist funding agent, all projects can be assessed in the first instance from a business plan/proposition. Once this has been received we will consider the best available options. The initial proposal will be evaluated for free. There are many factors to consider, the most obvious being cost, perhaps the not so obvious is the available grants and the future savings. All projects are different, everything must be independently considered to ensure maximum value has been attained.
Renew - 30-Jul-18 @ 1:33 PM
I am looking for funding to plant 200 acres of solid bamboo for biomass in Uganda. The country has only 14% of the 197,000sqKM of its land mass as forests. Population is 41M growing 3% (the highest in the world). Fertility rate is 5.8 per woman. Looking for interest free but refundable funding. I have a 6 page introductory write up along with a formative budget. Let me know where I can send them.
Vk - 26-Oct-17 @ 7:32 PM
@Welshy. You may be entitled to something under the government renewable heat incentive scheme
GrantsExpert - 2-Sep-14 @ 11:01 AM
Investigating possibly getting s grant got installation of a biomass boiler in a domestic residence, Does such a grant exist in wales?
Welshy - 1-Sep-14 @ 4:31 PM
Hi I am making an inquiry regarding a new business We are opening a nursery day care business and need to put a energy efficient heating system in and was wondering is there any help we can get We are based in Luton 134 Biscot road Lu31ax Thank you Anwar
Ali - 12-Jul-14 @ 11:03 AM
Our organization is moving towards spear heading and acting as an example of a sanitation and environmental conservation for a better livelihood in Kampala District majorly in Makindye Division. With the help of your organization we are seeking to start up a sanitation program in Kosovo zone in Makindye Division Kampala District. Please let us know of any funding opportunity
WHI - 22-Jun-14 @ 1:36 PM
I would like to know if there is any grant funding for the production ofhigh energy content, low emmision biomass woodfuel from recycled wood?
woodworm - 1-May-14 @ 12:17 PM
How do I come across funding for growing biomass fuel
charlie - 6-Mar-14 @ 4:20 PM
Was told that if someone is on a benefit eg dla, they could get biomass heating on a grant or even free??
need-to-know?? - 3-Oct-13 @ 3:57 PM
We have a project proposal for the production of bio-coal in my country,Malawi but do not know how we can get funding for the project. Could any one out there be kind enough as to how we can get it.We have ready to sendthe preliminary proposal for their consideration.
Climate Concern - 11-Apr-13 @ 3:17 PM
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