The Wood Heat Association is the UK trade association for the modern wood heating and related biomass heating industry and brings together wood fuel suppliers, biomass boiler and stove installers and distributors, energy companies and developers. Their annual conference was held last week (20/21st November) and was attended by Stuart Reid, our Head of Business Development.
Asking him his thoughts on the conference Stuart replied,
“One striking thing was that those in attendance had predominantly been involved with the sector for a number of years and therefore were committed to developing a viable and sustainable long term future for the wood heat sector. The conference saw some excellent presentations and much discussion on how we can ensure the continued growth and mainstreaming of the sector.
There were strong presentations from Chris Miles on the “past, present and future of the sector”, Edmund Ward of OFGEM on the RHI, Steve Luker on installation standards and Ian Tubby from Forestry Commission who outlined the vital role that woodfuel was playing in improving woodland management. Steve Roberts from DECC gave an excellent overview of the sector describing how the biomass uptake is viewed as being successful and outlining future approaches to the RHI policy and legislation will deliver a sustainable industry moving forwards to 2020. Amongst all the policy discussion there was also room for some technical sessions on elements as diverse as heat metering, emissions from boilers, skills development in the sector, development of standards and the biomass suppliers list. All in all a varied and worthwhile two days.
A key call to action is ensuring that the benefits of biomass heat are understood at a policy level. We all need to grab hold of our local MP/MSP and ensure that they have seen a biomass boiler in action and understand that:
- Biomass heat is delivering cost effective carbon savings
- Biomass heat is delivering jobs and local economic growth
- Biomass heat is delivering a more resilient local energy supply with circular benefits
- The benefits of biomass need to be embedded and secured – we need ongoing and stable policy support.”
We’re not sure we would advocate ‘grabbing our local MP/MSP’, but you get the picture!