Skip to main content

Biofuels: Subsidies

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 67583, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has spent on subsidising biomass for electricity in each of the last three years, and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

6 July 2020

Subsidies for generating electricity from biomass are paid under three low carbon electricity schemes: the Renewables Obligation, the Feed-in Tariff, and Contracts for Difference. The Renewables Obligation does not pay a direct subsidy: instead support is provided through tradeable certificates. The costs of the Contracts for Difference scheme are levied on consumer electricity bills.

The table below provides a breakdown of payments made to biomass electricity generators under the Renewables Obligation and Contracts for Difference schemes in the last three financial years where figures are available[1]:

Breakdown of payments made to biomass electricity generators by low carbon electricity support scheme


2017-18 (£m)

2018-19 (£m)

2019-20 (£m)

Renewables Obligation[2]




Contracts for Difference[4]




[1] Figures are not available broken down by technology for the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

[2] Renewables Obligation figures are based on Ofgem’s certificate report as at 17 June 2020 from their Renewables and CHP Register.

[3] Renewables Obligation figures for 2019/20 are provisional as not all the certificates have been issued yet, and the full notional value of each certificate is not yet known.

[4] Contracts for Difference figures are from the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) CfD dashboard, which is available on LCCC’s website.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.