Leith Biomass plan could go up in smoke if subsidy cuts approved

Victoria Quay

A multi-million pound hole may have appeared in the Forth Energy buisiness plan for their proposed Leith power plant. 

Last week, the Scottish Government announced proposals that could see large, electricity-only biomass fueled power plants, such as the one proposed by Forth Energy on Leith docks, lose their entitlement to claim renewable energy subsidies entirely. 

Whilst Forth Energy have never put a figure on the level of subsidy they expect to receive for their proposed Leith plant, we have previously calculated that the firm could have expected to earn at least £800m – £1billion in subsidies over the twenty year lifespan of the power plant. This is over and above the income they would receive for selling the electricity it would generate.

Last year, Greener Leith called on the Scottish Government to remove subsidies for large electricity-only biomass plants on the basis that their economic and environmental impacts were less than clear cut, to put it mildly.

Therefore, we are delighted that the Scottish Government appears to share our view that the best way prevent large companies proposing schemes that do little to support Scottish Government policy for biomass is to withdraw subsidy for them.

Calum Wilson, Chief Executive of the firm behind the Leith biomass plan has said in local public meetings that without the public subsidy the Leith project is far less likely to go ahead.  If the Scottish Government does decide to proceed with these proposals it could potentially bring a swift end to the Leith plant plan.

You can find details of the Scottish Government consultation here.  

If you, or an organisation you are involved in responds to this consultation, please do share it with us.  

For a limited amount of time you can view and comment on the draft version of our response to this consultation here. 

Written by Ally Tibbitt

Ally Tibbitt is a member of Greener Leith. He looks after this website.