Biomass Suppliers List and RHI Sustainability Criteria

The Biomass Suppliers List
EnviroSense has helped numerous companies register their fuels on the RHI Biomass Suppliers List. In registering fuels on the Biomass Suppliers List (BSL), a company will be issued an authorisation number, permission to label their compliant products with the Biomass Suppliers List mark and demonstrate their fuels meet the RHI sustainability criteria.

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t: 01531 637396

RHI Sustainability Criteria and the Biomass Suppliers List
The criteria to meet are the RHI Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Criteria and due to the new The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2015. Fuel compliant with the Timber Standard from the 5th of October can only be used to claim the RHI.

Biomass Suppliers List and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
A supplier registering wood fuels on the Biomass Suppliers List must demonstrate the emissions from the life cycle of fuels that involves cultivation, processing and transport which involves at least a 60% carbon saving compared to the EU fossil fuel average for heat.  This means an operator of a station generating heat and claiming the RHI must ensure their greenhouse gas emissions meet, or be less than, 34.8gCO2(eq) per MJ heat generated. Fuels supplied to generating stations using heat must be below this in order to take into account the efficiency of the installation converting the fuel to useful heat.

Biomass Suppliers List and the Timber Standard (TS)
The Timber Standard which can be the most onerous aspect of the RHI sustainability criteria, states the criteria to be met for wood fuel and forest management:

•  Management of the forest must ensure that harm to ecosystems is minimised.
•  Management of the forest must ensure that productivity of the forest is maintained.
•  Management of the forest must ensure that ecosystem health and vitality is maintained.
•  Management of the forest must ensure that biodiversity is maintained.
• The forest management organisation and any contractors must comply with local and national legal  requirements relevant to their operations.
• Management of the forest has full regard for legal, customary, traditional tenure and have dispute resolution processes and basic safeguards for the health and safety of forest workers.

Category A Evidence – FSC and PEFC Certification to Meet the Timber Standard.
Evidence to show the Timber Standard has been met and therefore the Land Criteria of the RHI can be demonstrated by either ‘Category A’ evidence or ‘Category B’ evidence. At present Category A evidence is limited to two forest management schemes, FSC and PEFC. Wood sold from companies with valid FSC or PEFC certificates claimed on invoices and delivery notes in conjunction with the companies FSC or PEFC registration numbers as below indicated the Land Criteria and the Timber Standard has been met:

• FSC Mix 70%
• FSC 100%
• FSC Mix Credit
• 100% PEFC Certified
• 70% PEFC Certified

EnviroSense can provide consultancy to achieve FSC and PEFC certification for wood supplies FSC and PEFC support. Category A evidence is the ‘safest’ route and most secure option to ensure the land sustainability criteria of wood fuels is met without question.


Category B and Bespoke Evidence to Meet the Timber Standard
The alternative means to demonstrate compliance with the RHI sustainability criteria with respect to wood is Category B evidence. Category B evidence is bespoke evidence gathered to demonstrate compliance with all indicators of the Timber Standard (the above bullet points do not include sub-criteria). EnviroSense can support your company’s Biomass Suppliers List application by gathering, assessing and preparing Category B evidence. One approach to do this, depending on the number of wood sources is the ‘Risk Based Regional Assessment’. The Risk Based Regional Assessment is required if fuels to be used or sold are not 100% sustainable or Category A evidence.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) guidance provides additional information on Category A and B evidence and managing the sustainability of wood fuels: Woodfuel Advice Note. However, please do feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Biomass Suppliers List and The Risk Based Regional Assessment
The Risk Based Regional Assessment enables operators of generating stations to take a risk-based approach to the Timber Standard for determining legality and sustainability at a regional level opposed to at the forest management unit level and determination of the risk of non-compliance with the sustainability criteria. This approach is required when wood fuel is not 100% Category A evidence and all of the biomass is sustainable.

A ‘region’ is defined as an area of sufficiently homogenous conditions where legal and sustainability characteristics or requirements do not significantly differ. One example of a region is a US State such as South Carolina where legislation, forestry and forest management regulation in addition to the ecoregion having a degree of uniformity. EnviroSense has prepared, submitted and gained approval on many Risk Based Regional Assessments for a regional for a number of companies. EnviroSense are familiar with the ‘risk assessment approach’, it is analogous to FSC Controlled Wood Risk Assessments which EnviroSense have been conducting for over 10 years.

Why EnviroSense?
EnviroSense personnel have over 20 years experience in the timber and wood industry working with  sustainability issues across many sectors including biomass. It is our intention to find and implement simple solutions that deliver results. We work with companies to lessen the compliance burden without excessive time or cost.

Getting Started
Please do contact us with any questions you may have or should you wish to discuss a potential Biomass Suppliers List application. We can meet with your company to discuss approaches and support options depending on the number and volume of fuels you wish to register. Additionally,  BSL authorised fuels do require quarterly returns and we can provide ongoing support to fulfil responsibilities.

t: 01531 637396