Woodfuel: Benefits and Opportunities in the Commercial Sector

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Businesses looking to reduce heating bills and save carbon – and generate income for doing so – are invited to come along to a free event at Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) next month (24 March).

Staged by the Forestry Commission Scotland’s Regional Woodfuel Forums, the day-long event will provide a valuable opportunity for a wide range of commercial and public sector organisations to see how they can benefit economically and environmentally from the opportunities associated with wood-fuelled heating systems.

Designed to promote the production of heat from low-carbon technologies, using renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides a guaranteed, index-linked payment for 20 years for the production of renewable heat.

Cameron Maxwell, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Head of Business Development, said;

“Wood fuel heating systems can be adapted to suit businesses and organisations operating in the  farming, food and drink, retail, hospitality, healthcare, Local Authority and education sectors – as well as others.

“They present significant opportunities to generate income under the RHI, enhance business sustainability, boost green credentials and reduce Green House Gas emissions. They can minimise the risks associated with fluctuating fossil fuel prices and support the creation of local employment in the woodfuel supply chain.

“For example, Argyll Holidays generates £28,000 from the RHI, saves 200 tonnes of Carbon per annum through wood fuelled heating systems and at the same time has reduced their heating bills by 40 %!

“This event is a great opportunity to talk to industry experts, see how woodfuel heating systems work in practice and also do some networking."

The meeting is free to attend but places are limited so anyone wishing to attend should do so by 17th March, either booking online, phoning RDI Associates on 07919263190 or emailing Virginia at virginia.harden@ruraldevelopment.org.uk

The morning session will include talks and presentations from representatives of Forestry Commission Scotland, HWEnergy, Re:heat, Balcas,  Reith Partner (Woodfuel) Ltd. and Central Woodfuels. There will also be a look at case studies focusing on large, medium and small scale heat applications.

After lunch and a networking session, there will be opportunities to tour the Queen Margaret University woodfuel heating system and also a commercial system at Scott Heating Company.

Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

2.  For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotland

3. For more information and advice on woodfuel and biomass as a business opportunity or as an alternative source of energy, visit www.usewoodfuel.co.uk The usewoodfuelscotland website and the Scottish regional Woodfuel Forums provide support to the Scottish Woodfuel industry.
4. Forestry Commission Scotland and Rural Development Initiatives are working together with other partner organisations to deliver the Woodfuel Forums.

5. The RHI is targeted at industrial, commercial and public sector. It aims to increase the number of renewable heating installations in these sectors by 7 times by 2020. It is worth £860m (UK wide) and is expected to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat.

e-mail: paul.munro@forestry.gsi.gov.uk