Woodfuel is supported and promoted through a number of international and national policy initiatives and instruments.
These respond to issues of climate change, biodiversity protection and enhancement, sustainable economic development and security of energy supply.
UK Renewable Energy Strategy
This strategy commits the UK to contribute to the overall European renewable energy target and to generate 15% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Wood is likely to play a significant part in achieving this target.
UK Bioenergy Strategy
This strategy outlines the UK’s approach to securing the benefits of using bioenergy. The strategy indicates that sustainably sourced biomass, which includes forestry products, could contribute around 8-11% to the UK’s primary energy demand by 2020.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
The government has put in place a range of additional incentives to encourage greater use of renewables. Woodfuel (or biomass) boilers qualify for the RHI. Payments are made directly to boiler owners based on the amount of heat you produce (metered and non-domestic installations), or estimated heat demand (non-metered domestic installations) on a pence/kWh basis. RHI funding
Woodfuel Strategy for England
The Forestry Commission’s Woodfuel Strategy for England sets out the clear role that England’s woodlands can play in helping combat climate change. The main aim of the strategy and subsequent implementation plan is to bring an additional two million tonnes of wood into the woodfuel market each year by 2020. This, it is estimated, would save 400,000 tonnes of carbon a year, equivalent to using 3.6 million barrels of crude oil.
The Woodfuel Implementation Plan outlines how the strategy will be achieved.
Independent Panel on Forestry and Government Response
In January 2013 the Government produced its response to this report from the Independent Panel on Forestry. The Government supported many of the findings of the panel and committed not only to keeping the public forest estate in public ownership but also to help invigorate the woodland economy by bringing neglected woodlands back into management and help create jobs and growth.
Community Energy Strategy
Outlines the government’s approach to encouraging the development of community energy in the UK. This includes the generation of community heat from sustainable woodfuel from unmanaged woodlands.