What assessment has the Minister made of the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a heating solution for off-grid properties in Wales?
There have been calls for HVO to be used as a renewable fuel for domestic heating, however there are a number of significant challenges to its use. There is insufficient supply of waste oil within the UK for this to be a cost-effective solution at scale, and there is competition from the transport sector for existing stocks. We would, therefore, be dependent on imported fuels and exposed to global fuel costs. There are significant technical challenges with burning virgin vegetable oils, and the demand for crop-based biofuels would be in direct competition with food crops. In some cases, a new dedicated boiler and ancillary equipment such as tanks and pipework would be required.
These issues are described in a report on the evidence prepared by NNFCC in 2019.
We will continue to explore sustainable and cost-effective solutions to decarbonise heat as we develop our Heat Strategy, which will be published for consultation in 2023.