Biomass is governed by the same regional and national legislation as other energy generating technologies, but in addition to this there are also specific requirements. Vital have helped many clients though the feasibility, business case and planning permission phases to bring successful projects to market and strive to, not only comply with legislation, but often exceed the legislative requirements.

Biomass Legislation

Some of the areas biomass projects have to comply with are:

  • Noise – Depending on the system, biomass schemes can be noisy.  This is due to the feeding mechanisms which deliver the biomass into the boiler.  Systems such as hoppers and “walking floors” generate noise, but Vital have experience of creating noise attenuation solutions which bring this to within planning limits.
  • Air Quality – In addition to national laws, local legislation can also apply with initiatives such as “Clean Air Zones” and “Air Quality Management Areas”.  Which legislation applies to a particular biomass scheme is dependent on the MW output of the plant and the type of biomass fuel being used.  Legislation can include The Clean Air Act, IPPC and LA-PPC and regulation can fall to the local authority, Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for Scotland.  Vital Energi can undertake extensive flue dispersion modelling, calculate emissions and design technical solutions to reduce the impact of a system on the environment and ensure the scheme complies with planning, regulation and legislation.
  • DSEAR – The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations exists to ensure substances which can cause explosions and fires are handled and stored safely.  As standard, Vital Energi ensure all of their designs are compliant with this legislation.
  • Health & Safety – In addition to the construction phase, the operation and maintenance phase must be conducted safely.  There are several pieces of legislation which must be adhered to and these include:
    • The Health & Safety At Work Act
    • The Provision & Use of Work Regulations
    • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
    • Machinery safety directive
    • Pressure system safety regulations
    • Pressure equipment regulations
    • Work at Height Regulations
    • Manual handling operations
    • Confined Spaces Regulations
    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations

In addition to this there are a wide range of approved codes of practice which Vital Energi are experiences at implementing.

Government legislation, incentives and the economic landscape often converge to make one technology more attractive to clients and consultants than others and currently, where geography and legislation are supportive, biomass is one of the more compelling options for organisations looking to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions in a cost effective way.