Biomass key to English forestry's future, says REA
Biomass is key in helping the government meet their woodland priorities, says the Renewable Energy Association (REA).
The claim follows the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs' (Defra) Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement, which says that effective management of the UK's woodlands can boost the forestry industry.
One section of the statement looks at how undermanaged broadleaved woodlands could "supply significant quantities of fuel without interrupting supply chains", opening up additional opportunities for biomass.
Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the REA, said she was pleased to see Defra acknowledging the role biomass can have in adding value to the UK's woodlands, as well as reducing the UK's reliance on fossil fuels and energy intensive materials.
She added: "By sitting alongside other industries like construction and carpentry, bioenergy uses by-products that can find little other value - such as thinnings, off-cuts and residues. That provides an extra revenue stream which, coupled with robust sustainability criteria, helps landowners to invest in responsible forest management.
"We look forward to working with Defra, our own REA/Confor Woodfuel Suppliers Group and other industry leaders to show how biomass is key to English forestry's future."