The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have written a joint response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to warn of the unforeseen consequences of incentivising the burning of certain types of biomass, and to give their views on the classification of certain wood products as ‘waste’. The response was to a DECC consultation seeking views on proposals for the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Localised use of waste to generate heat can be an effective mechanism for joinery manufacturers to manage some of their waste issues and reduce their overall fuel bill.
The BWF and TTF letter stated that, in order to encourage the sustainable use of wood waste, it is essential that RHI tariffs should recognise different streams of potential biomass fuel. It is less environmentally and economically sensible to divert product that could be re-used effectively by sectors such as the panels industry or other important value-adding manufacturing industries.
The letter warned DECC that undue inflationary pressure from subsidies could have a distorting effect, increasing the price of timber and effectively driving less sustainable usage of materials. It also noted that increased clarity on wood waste grading could enable the UK to find a sustainable use for even the lowest grade of wood waste.