§ Mr. Pickthall
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to(a) encourage development work in biomass projects and (b) increase the level of their support from the non-fossil fuel obligation. 
§ Mr. Page
[holding answer 11 February 1997]: The Government consider that biomass is one of the most promising renewables and has the prospect to contribute to UK energy supplies. In order to secure the electricity generating capacity required by the fourth non-fossil fuel obligation order, NFFO4, announced on 6 February 1997, seven biomass projects with an aggregate capacity of 67.4 MW are expected to be contracted. The value of these contracts is almost twice that of the three biomass projects with an aggregate capacity of 19.1 MW contracted under the third NFFO order, NFFO3, which was made in 1994. The Department of Trade and Industry spent about £2 million in 1995–96 on development work in biomass with matching funding from industry, and the programme is set to continue.