Latest News - Where Scotland leads DECC must follow

Where Scotland leads DECC must follow
Wed, Oct 17, 2012

It has been a busy summer in the world of woody biomass policy.  In July the UK Government published their response to the Renewables Obligation Banding Review, followed last month by the Scottish Government’s response.

 

The Scottish Government has recognised the risk to our sector, and the wider forest industry, from biomass subsidies. The Scottish Government’s “concerns over competition for the finite supply of wood” have led to their decision to remove the subsidy for biomass electricity plant over 10MW. They have also committed to actively seeking measures to reduce the impact of conversions and co-firing on the domestic wood supply. We welcome this positive work from the Scottish Government and their acceptance of the realities of the impact of the RO on wood processors.

 

However, the impact of woody biomass burning will not be limited to Scotland – the UK must now follow Scotland’s example and work to prevent damage to domestic wood users.

 

The wood processing industry is a British success story. We provide valuable manufacturing jobs, producing essential products, and are an established part of the UK’s burgeoning green economy. Billions of pounds of investment (including from international parent companies) has built our industry into the economically sustainable position it is now in. This position is now at risk as a result of a woody biomass electricity sector which is dependent on subsidies for its viability which are distorting the supply and cost in the UK wood market.

 

The Scottish Government recognises the risk to our industry, and the wider risks associated with bioenergy, while the UK Government continues to bury its head in the sand.  The UK Government needs to act NOW to follow Scotland’s example, and give our important forest industries a fighting chance of survival.

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