THE price of diesel has rocketed from 7p to 70p per litre in the last decade, making drying grain and heating sheds an expensive business.
Until recently, the idea of using straw as a fuel instead of oil seemed far-fetched. Not least because of the prohibitive cost of a biomass boiler. But the introduction of a new Government subsidy scheme has changed this.
The Government has been targeted to have 12 per cent of all heating coming from renewable sources by the end of the decade.
This is why it was important for the uptake of technologies such as heat pumps, biogas and biomass boilers, to receive a boost similar to the one their renewable cousins wind turbines and solar panels were already enjoying.
In September 2012, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) finally launched the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the first to benefit from the scheme are commercial premises, including farms.
John Seed, director at Berwickshire-based Topling Biomass Energy Systems, says: “It has changed the whole nature of the business.
“We have been lagging behind the likes of Germany and Denmark in using biomass for heating, but the RHI should help us jump ahead.”