Sustainable biomass and wood heating campaign launched by the Renewable Energy Association

The campaign urges the government to support the continued use of sustainable, affordable, and low-carbon biomass.

Six months since the closure of the consultation on the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive, the Government is making its final decisions around how renewable heat technologies will be funded to 2021.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA), in association with the Wood Heat Association (WHA), has launched a new campaign that urges the government to prioritize the decarbonisation of heat and to support the continued use of sustainable, affordable, and low-carbon biomass.

One third of the UK’s carbon emissions are from the heat sector. So far just over 4 per cent of heat is being produced from renewable sources.

Biomass, derived from discarded tree limbs and other waste wood products, has been a popular means of decarbonising heat to date under the RHI, particularly for homeowners, schools, and businesses that do not have a connection to the UK’s gas grid. To date, 56 per cent of the renewable heat generated in homes under the RHI has been from biomass. It has also generated 81 per cent of the renewable heat used in for non-domestic properties.

A new video, produced by the Wood Heat Association, has been launched on social media. It outlines how the wood heat translates to emissions reduction when seen in context of the wider forestry industry.

Frank Aaskov, Analyst at the Wood Heat Association said:

“The biomass heat sector actively contributes to the regrowth of forests and has been the most popular technology under the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive programme. The Government will be making major decisions about the programme’s future in the coming weeks and we’re urging them to remember biomass as a force for good.

“We are launching a campaign and a new video designed to emphasize that wood heat in the UK is an affordable and sustainable way to decarbonise our heat sector, particularly in rural or off-gas grid properties.”

Wood fuel is a renewable, low carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Burning wood that is sensibly sourced is low carbon as the wood is from trees that grow by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. This carbon is released back into the atmosphere either by the wood decaying or being combusted. Using biomass as a fuel allows the carbon that would be released anyway to replace fossil fuels. Sustainable forest management allows for a stable supply of wood for fuel. Foresters replant as they harvest to ensure that the forest remains healthy and serves its important role as a carbon sink, while not affecting wildlife and biodiversity.

About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)

The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with approximately 700 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders.
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About the Wood Heat Association (WHA)

The WHA is the UK trade association for the modern wood heating and related biomass heating industry including wood fuel suppliers, biomass boiler and stove installers and distributors, and anyone involved in the supply chain. The WHA is a fully owned subsidiary of the Renewable Energy Association. Members range in size from major multinationals to sole traders.

About the UK Pellet Council (UKPC)

The UK Pellet Council (UKPC) is a trade body, hosted by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which represents the interests of the UK wood pellet sector. Its members are manufacturers and distributors of wood pellets for heating. These issues include standardisation and certification of pellet quality, safety, and security of supply, education and training.

  • The consultation The Renewable Heat Incentive: A reformed and refocused scheme closed on 27 April 2016. You can view the documents here.
  • Support the campaign by tweeting on #biomass or #biomassheat