Where is the British energy mix heading? Argus Biomass Conference 2023


One of the largest global biomass events, the 13th annual Argus Biomass Conference, took place over three days in late April at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II centre in London. An opportunity to hear about new innovations in the pellet market, new industrial applications of biomass and new procurement opportunities was taken by over 400 representatives of key players in the biomass market including government, industry, academia and regulation.

Dr Matthew Goodwin – the UK Pellet Council’s General Secretary & Quality Standards Manager – was invited to chair the first panel discussion of the event on the subject of ‘Great Britain’s reliance on biomass: Where is the British energy mix heading?’ The panel included Tunde Ojetola (Senior Policy Advisor at the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero [DESNZ]), Kate Ball (Biomass Powerplant Manager & Hydrogen Project Manager for E.On), Helen Bentley-Fox (Director of Woodsure) and Jonathan Scott (Commercial and Fuel Director for Lynemouth Power).

In addition to exploring the role of biomass in the British energy mix the panel discussed a variety of other topics including quality and sustainability as well as comparing the UK’s biomass policy with that of the EU. In summarising the lively debate held by the panel Dr Goodwin confirmed that “It was a really useful discussion, and it was particularly interesting to hear the contrasting perspectives from those in the industrial market compared to what has happened in the premium market over the last 12 months. It was generally agreed by all panel members though that we are operating in a vacuum until the government’s biomass strategy is published; without this, key players in the UK market are unable to invest for the long term.”

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