I draw your attention to a press notice which was published on DECC’s website this morning announcing savings in low carbon technology programme budgets. The savings announced this morning total £34 million and include £4.7 million which had been earmarked to support additional projects under the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme (BCGS) and Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme (BEIS) this financial year. These savings form part of DECC’s £85 million contribution to the £6.2 billion of savings across Whitehall announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 May. Unfortunately, this means that we will be unable to proceed with round 6 of the BCGS and round 3 of the BEIS.

In common with all Government departments, DECC is having to play its part in reducing the public spending deficit. Over the last few weeks, Ministers have reviewed very carefully all of DECC’s spending plans and is having to make difficult choices about which programmes to support going forward. The two biomass grant schemes have benefited from some £60 million of public investment since they were introduced, and in that time have supported around 400 projects, many of which are still underway. While noting these excellent achievements, Ministers have also had to take into account the fact that the schemes are scheduled to close on 31 March 2011. In light of this, the level of public investment in the schemes to date and the urgent need to make savings, Ministers have concluded that the case for allocating additional grant aid through new funding rounds is not strong.

I can confirm that £5.3 million worth of grants for 2010/11 previously approved under these schemes are not affected and remain in place.

The press notice can be viewed via this link - http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn10_84/pn10_84.aspx