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27 JANUARY 2010 NEWS RELEASE No: 13199

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Green energy hot spots in East Midlands

A new survey on green energy from Forestry Commission England has shown the East Midlands’ hot spots for biomass boilers.

With 262 biomass boilers identified in the region, the East Midlands has the third highest number in England, after Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South West. This figure has risen by 58 from 2008.

The Forestry Commission is supporting the use of biomass and is working to increase the amount of woodfuel reaching this growing market and the number of boilers being installed.

Andy Hall, the Forestry Commission’s regional director, said:

“The East Midlands has 80,000 hectares of woodland, which, although low, is more than five per cent of the region's total land cover. Around 38 per cent of these woodlands are currently undermanaged and could supply up to 90,000 oven dry tonnes every year to local markets.”

Andy is encouraging the development of woodfuel supply chain from bringing undermanaged woods back into production through to increasing the number of woodfuel boilers.

He said:

“In our region, woodfuel boilers are found mainly in the north, We want to encourage the installation of more boilers across our region, particularly in off-gas areas.

“By managing woodlands for fuel production, we can help improve biodiversity, as well as creating jobs in rural areas.”

“Woodfuel boilers are suitable for a whole range of larger, commercial and community buildings. For example, in the National Forest in Derbyshire, woodfuel boilers are used to heat the youth hostel at Moira and the visitor centre at Rosliston.
 
“More people are using this traditional fuel as a sustainable future energy-source and we’d like to see more joining them.”


NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england

2. For more information about woodfuel in the East Midlands go to: www.forestry.gov.uk/england-woodfuel.

3. The Biomass Heat Boilers in England 2009 survey was commissioned for the Forestry Commission, by the Renewable Energy Association Ltd. The survey was based on the responses from 35 organisations on non-domestic biomass boilers.

MEDIA CONTACT
Chris Johnson, Press Officer, Forestry Commission England, tel 01223 346034, email chris.c.johnson@forestry.gov.uk