The fight for bio-liquids

The fight for bio-liquids

The new B30K fuel will be a mix of 30% FAME bio-fuel and 70% kerosene, and can be used on existing oil heating appliances with very few system modifications. It is estimated that carbon emissions from the B30K fuel will be 28% lower than those from traditional heating oil. The provisional specification for this fuel is now available from OFTEC, and is called prOPS24.

Bio-liquid trials – organised by a task force headed up by OFTEC and the University of East Anglia – took place in Norfolk last year. Around 25 domestic and commercial properties were converted to run on several different blends of bio-liquid and kerosene, with very positive results.

Campaigning and consulting

Now that a provisional standard has been agreed, oil companies, distributors and government will be consulted on how to make the fuel commercially available at the right price for consumers. The government has indicated that bio-liquid fuels – such as prOFS24 – probably will receive support through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) after October 2012. Because of the possibility of political opposition to this funding from NGO’s, the OFTEC board has agreed to launch a campaign with ministers, MPs and the national media to ensure that bio-liquids do receive RHI support.Public affairs consultancy, Luther Pendragon, has been recruited to co-ordinate this campaign; they have already worked on campaigns for other heating organisations including HHIC. OFTEC members are being asked to contact their MP by letter or email to promote the new fuel. The board considers that there is a very short time in which to achieve RHI support and so this work is essential if the long-term future of the oil/liquid fuel heating and cooking sector is to be secured.

The Renewable Heat Premium Payment

Last month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change released details of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

Under RHPP, off-grid consumers can claim £1250 towards a ground source heat pump, £950 (biomass boiler) and £850 (air source heat pump) from a £15 million fund. Plus a £300 voucher towards solar thermal can be claimed by both on/off grid consumers. Worcester,Bosch Group and Plumb Center were quick to welcome the announcement which could result in up to 25,000 installations.

Commenting on the scheme, which started on 1st August, Simon Allan, director of renewables, Plumb Center, said:

“This is traditionally a quieter time for installers so it will bring them a much needed boost at a time when businesses across the board are being affected by the economic downturn.”

“This is excellent news,” said Neil Schofield, head of external and governmental affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, although sounding a note of caution with timings. “RHPP will be cut off in March 2012, which means that until October, when the Renewable Heat Incentive tariff payments start, there will be no incentive for consumers to install renewable technologies.”