Biomass ‘is answer to zero-carbon housing’

Biomass will be the main driving force in delivering carbon neutral development for the UK's biggest housing growth area, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Making larger developments zero carbon is now “technically viable” in the South West of England, which expects to see half a million homes go up over the next twenty years, according to the report commissioned by the South West Regional Assembly.

Carbon saving will be made mainly thanks to renewables used to power new homes, with biomass fuels the principal source of renewable energy, the Supporting and developing zero carbon development in the South West report predicts.

Zero carbon developments would become the norm for new homes across the South West under the new Regional Spatial Strategy, now being considered by the SW Regional Assembly. If approved, the policy will be adopted next year.

Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the region’s renewable energy agency, said: “It is easier to make dramatic cuts in carbon emissions from new homes than from existing homes so it is sensible to aim high in new construction.

“This study shows that zero carbon standards are achievable, and strengthens the case for the South West to move ahead faster than the rest of the country.

“This study is already creating interest in central government because it is the first to look at zero carbon standards in depth. It is another example of where the region is showing leadership on climate change, and those organisations involved have shown real foresight in commissioning this work.”

The full study, Supporting and developing zero carbon development in the South West, can be accessed here.

Goska Romanowicz

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