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29 Jun 2010 02:06:08

Industry body warns biomass incentives could increase CO2

Industry body warns biomass incentives could increase CO2
Increased use of biomass energy plants in the UK due to government subsidies could lead to thousands of job losses and an increase in emissions, one industry body has claimed.

According to the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF), the results of two reports show that 8,700 UK jobs are under threat and carbon emissions could increase by one per cent if wood continues to be used to produce electricity.

The body claims that current government studies encourage "the most carbon intensive use" of wood and that the price of wood could reach such a level that it puts those in the panelling industry out of a job.

Alastair Kerr, director general of the WPIF, said: "The Government is putting too great an emphasis on large scale wood-fired electricity and, by subsidising generators' ability to pay for fuel, they are threatening to destroy an industry that adds economic value and brings environmental benefit through carbon storage."

Recommendations are now being made through the Make Wood Work campaign for the government to change incentives so that domestic wood is not used as feedstock for the biomass industry and to promote the use crops which have the short-term ability to absorb carbon.

The Department of Energy and Climate change hopes that by the year 2020, 30 per cent of the UK's 15 per cent renewable energy target could come from biomass heat and electricity.ADNFCR-1235-ID-19863349-ADNFCR

Discussion Thread  

02 Jul 2010

The only reason 'domestic wood' is used as a feedstock for power stations is when market forces are at play, coupled with the variations in ROC's payments which encourage the use of energy crops at the expense of wood from waste. If you follow recent announcements from DRAX Power, you will see what co-firing and dedicated biomass power generators are trying to do to achieve government guidelines for carbon emissions reduction. The new government is perfectly correct to encourage the use of biomass for power generation from waste feedstocks which are obtained from a wide variety of sources including forestry arisings from lop and top and thinnings as well as from waste wood from sawmills, building trade and even old pallets, which are fit for little else but are a valuable resource in this regard.

02 Jul 2010

These people have been protesting against the biomass industries for a long time with threats of job losses and an increase of co2 emmissions, although I cannot even start to imagine how they came to such a conclusion as they must be in the minority of one with such claims which make me realise that none of their findings are of a scientific or technical nature. What they need to realise is that when they add glues to the manufactiring of the boards they make the offcuts and other residues from the boards as contaminated material which is only good for burning WDF compliant furnaces. As for the loss of jobs where have these people been whilst the whole biomass industry chain has been creating jobs, in new biomass heating application, biomass fuel production and new jobs created in the forest industry and a whole host of supporting industries.

Charles Mamo

Phil Owen wrote:

03 Jul 2010

But I agree that electricity-only woodfired power stations are a nonsense. All new power stations should be obliged to use the heat they produce.

Phil Owen wrote:

03 Jul 2010

But I agree that electricity-only woodfired power stations are a nonsense. All new power stations should be obliged to use the heat they produce.

Discussion Thread  


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