Bioliquid campaign gathers pace

OFTEC director general, Jeremy Hawksley
OFTEC director general, Jeremy Hawksley, campaigning for bioliquids to be included in the RHI
OFTEC is at the centre of a parliamentary lobbying campaign to include bioliquid heating fuels in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) from October.

Since last October, director general, Jeremy Hawksley, chairman, Barry Gregory, and Neil Schofield of Worcester Bosch have held 13 meetings with MPs and lords at Westminster with more meetings planned.

Several parliamentary questions have been asked and MPs have written to minister, Greg Barker.  A further letter with 12 MP signatories is due to be sent, following which OFTEC expects to meet with the minister shortly.

In a separate campaign, OFTEC is lobbying members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and NI MPs to persuade them to give a higher tariff to bio-liquids in the NI RHI scheme, which is different from that in Great Britain.

OFTEC has retained public affairs specialists, Luther Pendragon to administer both campaigns.  After contact with civil servants regarding the RHI – in London and in Belfast – it has become clear that there are concerns about the future availability of sustainable biofuel at a feasible market price.

To address these issues, OFTEC has prepared a paper explaining how sufficient incentives are needed for farmers to plant feedstocks for bioliquids – including rape seed and wheat – in order to meet increased worldwide demand.

A minimum 8p per kw subsidy is being sought for bioliquids inclusion in the RHI. OFTEC believes this is the minimum level needed to make bioliquids viable for end consumers.

Bioliquids could save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2020

As part of their campaign, OFTEC released new research results which show that a switch from kerosene to bioliquids could save the UK over 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2020.

Field trials over an 18-month period tested a blend of 30% fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), manufactured from waste cooking oil, and 70% kerosene. Compared to conventional kerosene, the blend has been proven to reduce carbon emissions by 28%.  If this blend were included in the RHI, OFTEC believes that by 2020 90% of existing oil customers could be using it.