The essential journalist news source
Use wood wisely



PR 38229
16 March 2017

Use Wood Wisely



Norbord explains how the UK Government's current policy for subsidising the burning of wood for energy
production displays flawed logic and science.


The UK Government has signed up to meet CO2emissions targets by ensuring that 15% of all our energy requirements are met from ‘renewable' energy sources by 2020.

On the face of it, it seems highly commendable, and this would be the case if all renewable energy sources were truly renewable. Wind, solar and geothermal are all infinite and freely available. Woody biomass meets neither of these criteria, but dubious logic and science has twisted it to be classified as such.

In the rush to find a solution to meet the CO2emissions targets, the UK government embraced woody biomass as a means, through flawed science and rationale, to ensure it meet its targets. Due to this faulty science and logic, forests and industries are under the threat of going up in smoke.

Woody biomass has been classified as a renewable resource, as trees can be replanted, grown and therefore used for future energy use.

Using trees as a renewable energy resource is misguided thinking. Replanting them might work long-term, but it could take decades for replanting to restore the CO2balance of felled mature trees and their released carbon.

The current rate of felling for burning is creating a carbon deficit. When we use, reuse and reuse wood again by converting it into everyday household items, we ensure the carbon stays locked up for as long as possible, whereas burning wood releases this carbon instantaneously.

The Government subsidises UK power stations and incentivises them to burn woods biomass.

Contrary to the twisted science the Government has been influenced by, independent reports have proven that burning wood produces more CO2emissions than burning coal or oil. This means that wood is not a ‘green' energy source after all. Additionally, it's one of the most inefficient methods of extracting energy, and is needlessly destroying a precious resource.

The Government added a levy to all household energy bills to pay for their incentive. 

Essentially, it's a hidden tax that the majority of us are unaware we're paying for. Surely few, if any, would be happy contributing to the burning of wood, and the subsequent loss of forests and increase in atmospheric CO2.

The consequences?

Global deforestation and ecosystem destruction

CO2emissions from power stations


For further information and to see what you can do,

For reference - Two Chatham House reports (here and here) on biomass;



With compliments:

Alison Relf
Taylor Alden Ltd
Unit 2 Temple Place
247 The Broadway
London SW19 1SD
Tel: 020 8543 3866