This technology is definitely misunderstood and not everyone truly understands how this exciting renewable energy can benefit them.
Despite not being a name in the common language of most, “Biomass” has been around a lot longer than its other more familiar renewable cousins, such as Solar PV and Solar Thermal. The word itself also leads to what does it exactly mean? Well, to end any kind of vagary, it means a biological material from a living or recently living organism; to us, Logs and Pellets.
The wood pellets are produced from sawdust that is compressed. It first has to pass through a mill, to provide a uniform dough-like mass. This mass is then fed via a press where it is squeezed through a die normally 6 mm in diameter. When burnt these pellets tend to be the most efficient wood fuel leaving behind very little ash, as it burns very cleanly. In comparison logs are far cheaper or even free, but do not produce the same level of energy as pellets.
The Benefits of the RHI
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) like the FiTs for Solar PV is a kind of payment or reward for those individuals or businesses that have invested in renewable heating. Phase 1 of the RHI was introduced in November of 2011 and related only to Non-Domestic installations. We are still waiting for Phase 2 for Domestic installations, which is planned for the summer of 2013.
The release of the scheme in the two phases was purely down to the modeling requirements of the Domestic Sector. Having no examples to go by; as the RHI is the first of its kind in the world for renewable heating, the government decided to release the Non-Domestic phase first and only offer the Domestic phase once it is sure that it has been clearly defined.