Recycling companies keen to cash in on biomass energy boom slash gate fees

Biomass

burning recycled wood threatens UK jobs

A new report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), says that recycling companies are cutting their gate prices to attract waste wood from the construction sector to sell it on to the woody biomass industry.

Subsidies for generating electricity using biomass are distorting the domestic wood market.  Energy companies, supported by the Renewables Obligation (RO), are using their enhanced purchasing power to bid for the same recycled wood used by the wood panel industry.

The report also found there has been a significant increase in demand for waste wood to be used as fuel, with UK biomass facilities’ demand for recovered wood more than doubling between 2007 and 2010 to reach 0.55 million tonnes – nearly a quarter of total recovered wood demand!

WRAP has predicted gate fees will continue to fall in line with growth in the biomass market. A recent report from John Clegg Consulting suggests that demand for recovered wood from biomass plants could rise to more than four million tonnes by 2015, which is more than the UK’s entire supply of waste wood.

It is more evidence that if this situation does not change the future of the wood panel industry and wood-based manufacturing in Britain is threatened because they cannot compete in the same market as the energy companies, who are being subsidised to buy wood.

Read the full story at businessGreen

Advertisements

2.4 million jobs threatened by biomass subsidies

Biomass protests at Kronospan

Kronospan's workforce protest against biomass subsidies

Government subsidies paid to the biomass industry to burn wood threaten the livelihood of millions of people across the UK and Europe.

The subsidies are paid to the renewable energy industry despite the fact that wood working industries in Europe have a turnover in excess of €270 billion providing 2.4 million jobs. The industry creates 25 times more employment and 10 times more wealth creation than biomass energy generation, according to global analysts Pöyry.

The continuation of these subsidies risk UK jobs, including more than 600 workers at Kronospan’s wood production plant in Chirk near Wrexham, North Wales.

Gavin Adkins, director of Kronospan, says: “Paying subsidies to burn virgin timber rather than manufacture with it, damages wealth creation, the economy and the environment. It’s pushing up prices, creating a shortage in raw material and inevitably threatens millions of jobs.”

Kronospan UK is one of the top 10 manufacturing companies in Wales, employing more than 600 people, 90 per cent of whom live within 10 miles of its North Wales site. The loss of the Kronospan manufacturing plant to this North Wales village would be absolutely devastating.

In the UK, the Wood Panel Industries Federation has been lobbying hard with Government through its Make Wood Work campaign to reverse the consequences of the Renewables Obligation Order, which is a result of European Union Climate Change Directives. The Order places an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers in the UK to generate an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources.

The subsidies to the biomass industry have to be stopped or jobs will be lost.