Biomass is an effective renewable energy fuel, ideal for providing heat and power for large buildings or a range of buildings such as schools, office blocks or other large municipal buildings.
Installing a biomass system is one way that local authorities can help to meet central and local government renewable energy targets and district heating schemes for social housing are becoming much more common place these days.
These installations can service a large multi-user site from a centralised biomass boiler system and, if required, peak loads can be supplemented by a fossil fuel boiler. Work buildings or businesses can be heated by means of either an industrial warm air heater or a hot water boiler.
The former can provide very high volumes of warm air and are ideal for heating large open spaces whilst the latter can provide hot water at varying temperatures and is better suited to areas that need more regulated temperature control.
Biomass also falls under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government scheme to encourage property owners to install renewable energy equipment. The first phase of the scheme is aimed at the non-domestic sector and came into force in November 2011.
A non-domestic installation is a renewable heat unit in any building not used as a domestic property and applies to schools, social housing schemes, industrial and business premises. RHI offers a financial incentive for eligible non-domestic renewable energy technologies for the lifetime of the installation up to a maximum of 20 years. This makes it an attractive proposition in terms of both energy savings and reduced fuel costs, both of which can be passed on to local residents.