Sunday, 31 October 2010

Biomass Renewable Energy.

Despite being an ardent supporter of 'renewable energy' there are some forms of renewable energy over which I've had my doubts, for example 'biomass' which is defined by the Carbon Trust as:
"A wide variety of organic material such as wood, straw, dedicated energy stock, sewage sludge and animal litter for the generation of heat electricity or motive power"

The use of biomass, in this case wood, to generate clean energy came to the fore here in Wrecsam on Friday with a protest by workers and management at the Kronospan Wood Panel plant in Chirk on Friday. The protest concerned the fact that government subsidies for the use of 'virgin wood' as a biomass fuel was creating a shortage and artificially increasing prices.

I was always under the impression that 'wood burning' as a biomass fuel was waste wood, end of life wood or recycled wood and not 'virgin wood'. What is clear from what Kronospan executives are saying is that the use of 'virgin wood' is not sustainable as wood is not being replaced at the same rate as it is being used thus causing shortages and higher prices to wood manufacturers because of subsidies to the biomass industry.

There is a need to urgently look at the subsidy system for biomass otherwise there is a danger of placing wood manufacturing jobs at risk and we cannot afford to lose 600 well paid jobs in Wrecsam... over to you Jane Davidson!


Radical Wales said...

Virgin wood as a biomass fuel is dangerous greenwash and should be opposed on environmental grounds.

Royston Jones said...

There is an urgent need to look at all the subsidies being given to 'green' forms of energy.

For these subsidies, taken from us without our knowledge, added unitemised to our fuel bills, are merely disguising what more and more people are concluding - green energy is unaffordable and / or unreliable.

Draig said...

We have a problem, and the basic problem is that fossil fuels are not going to last forever. Renewables are subsidised to make them "competitive" with fossil fuels, but of course joe public pays the tab. But the price of ALL fuels, regardless of what they are, is going to go up. Much further up.