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Gasification technology is set to provide the waste industry with a viable alternative to incineration after being accepted as a qualifying technology for subsidies under the Renewables Obligation.

This follows a decision by the government to amend its proposed changes to legislation, which would have altered the definition of gasification and could have eliminated projects based on their feed stock, rather than the technology itself.

Energos, part of Ener-g, was helped in lobbying the government on the proposed legislative changes by local MP Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government, who raised the issue among fellow ministers.

The decision gives a green light to the development of standard gasification and advanced gasification.

Technologies using standard gasification (achieving a minimum energy content of 2MJ/m3) will received one Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC), while those using advanced gasification (achieving a minimum energy content of 4MJ/m3), such as Energos, will qualify for double ROCs.

This will provide an enhanced financial return on each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity sold, helping to recover multi-million pound investment costs and ensuring the viability of future projects.

Energos has completed the UK’s first gasification facility on the Isle of Wight that was part-funded by Defra’s New Technology Demonstrator programme.

This facility demonstrates that advanced gasification has a key role to play in providing a new generation of small-scale, ultra-low emission energy-from-waste plants that complement recycling initiatives and can operate at the heart of a community.

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