Improvements in technology, combined with government subsidies and incentives, mean that biomass remains an attractive investment. Yet there are still several obstacles to navigate when it comes to getting a plant built. Here's a short guide to overcoming three of the most common:
The biggest obstacle to overcome is often planning. The differing attitudes of local authorities and communities can see approval time for projects taking anywhere between 13 weeks and several years.
A one-size planning application does not fit all and there are two options to address this; employ someone experienced in submitting relevant applications, or employ the relevant planning authority to help prepare the application. Problems can be flagged and addressed before a formal submission by working with the people whose views will influence the planning committee. This will save time and reduce the risk of rejection.
Investing in the right technology is a major part of any project and an area that needs careful consideration. There are a number of different options including bespoke kits that can be tailored to a particular project.
However many of the companies involved in the delivery of such projects are SMEs, and if they were to become insolvent there is a risk that the equipment would not be able to be maintained and the plant output could be affected.
To mitigate this risk, the easiest solution is to use established technology that is widely available on the market. Whilst a single supplier contract is always preferable, this route gives other maintenance options if that single supplier were to become insolvent.
The next hurdle is the bankability of the project. A bank will need to be convinced that the financed assets have the appropriate protections in place. There are several things to consider including:
It may seem like a never ending list of asks but none of these are insurmountable obstacles. The key to the successful development of biomass plants can summarised by two things - good planning and sound contracts.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at March 2015. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases; we cannot be held responsible for any action (or decision not to take action) made in reliance upon the content of this publication.
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