Summary of Research
Policy instruments such as the Renewable Heat Incentive will provide new markets to woodland owners. To supply these, whilst preserving timber supply to existing wood processors, more wood must be harvested from under managed private woodlands. To facilitate this, businesses need to make informed decisions about the type of equipment best suited to their requirements but the sector is not yet mature enough to fund research privately. As the sector develops, government departments will require more information on the longer term economic and environmental sustainability of fuel supply chains. This information must be conveyed in way that is readily understood by non-specialists.
This research programme focuses on quantifying work rates and potential economic return of equipment that could be used to produce fuel in currently unmanaged woodland. The programme will also investigate the effectiveness of current woodfuel drying techniques in use. The availability of good quality fuel is essential if users are to have confidence in the supply chain.