17 Dec 2010 10:12:10
Biomass heating has 'inbuilt limitations'
The development of biomass heating in the UK has "inbuilt limitations" but is part of the answer to reducing the county's dependence on fossil fuels, according to one expert.
Will Rolls, information officer at the Biomass Energy Centre, made the comments following a series of reports in the New York Times, which followed the progress of the Swedish city of Kristianstad as it virtually eliminated the use of fossil fuels for heating.
During the past decade, the city has converted its heating from mainly being powered by oil to greener sources of energy, such as biomass and wood chips.
Mr Wills pointed out that policymakers in Britain must be aware Sweden has a "very different heating profile" than the UK and the country took the decision to dedicate significant resources to biomass some time ago.
"We're quite a long way behind that – there's a huge lag time apart from anything else," he said, adding: "If we used the entire forestry output in the UK for biomass heating we still would not be able to heat everyone's house."
However, Mr Wills said he believed biomass will form part of the answer to making the UK's heating more sustainable, much like all other renewable technologies.