Following consultation in 2012, DETI, in line with the rest of the UK, decided to make sustainability criteria mandatory for support under the NIRO from April 2015, for stations of 1 megawatt (MW) and above that use solid biomass or biogas.
Both the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and DETI held further supplementary consultations on biomass sustainability and affordability during 2012/2013.
In June 2014 DECC launched an additional short consultation on adjustments to sustainability and reporting provisions for biomass. This consultation closed on 14 July 2014 and a Government Response was published on 12 August 2014. The Scottish Government published a consultation on 13 August 2014 based on DECC’s consultation response.
Northern Ireland has previously remained consistent with the rest of the United Kingdom in relation to biomass sustainability matters and we are not aware of any Northern Ireland specific reasons for adopting a different policy stance to DECC. However, it is expected that this consultation process will either confirm this view or produce evidence-based rationale for a different approach, where necessary.