Wood is a valuable resource, which, unlike other sources of renewable energy, is limited due to available land area and the length of the growing cycle. In the UK, current sustainable harvest is fully utilised by Norbord and other manufacturers through a lifecycle of Grow / Use / Re-use / Recycle – and then, and only then, Recover for energy.
This responsible and environmentally efficient lifecycle ensures carbon is stored for many years before being released back into the atmosphere when it is finally burned to produce energy.
As part of its commitment to a low carbon economy, the Government has introduced subsidies to electricity generators under the Renewables Obligation (RO). These subsidies incentivise the burning of wood for electricity-only generation, at efficiency levels of less than 30%.
The wood panel industry relies entirely on UK wood (virgin and recovered), which is now under huge pressure from the large-scale biomass energy sector. In simple terms, our industry is under threat because the Government subsidies allow the energy generators to pay more than double the price currently paid by the UK wood panel industry for its primary raw material. As a result, this has driven up average wood prices by 60% in the last five years.
And the problem looks set to grow. There has been a huge increase in the number of planning applications for biomass power stations that generate electricity by burning wood. These plants have the capacity to consume many times the entire UK’s timber harvest.
The threat to the wood panel industry is clear, however the current legislation has wider reaching consequences too:
The Wood Panel Industries Federation’s Make Wood Work is backed by Norbord and the other UK panel producers, and supported by other forest product industry organisations. It is a national campaign aimed at persuading the Government to encourage the best possible use of this valuable and limited material.
Working with leading organisations within the building trade, we are lobbying the government to review current and proposed legislation. Our aims are to persuade Government to:
The Biomass Issue has consequences for the UK economy, our environment and for the tens of thousands of UK workers whose jobs are at risk as a result of this legislation.
Please support our campaign by signing the petition, we would also be delighted, should you wish to send a letter concerning this matter to your MP.
Sign the petition at 38 Degrees - Stop Burning Our Forests
Learn more on how Norbord supports wood related issues at Better By Nature
For national campaign information visit Make Wood Work
To find out more about why Norbord is Better by Nature click here.
Click here to find out what our wood wise owl has to say on the issue.
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