Wood fuel in the West of England
You may not be aware of it, but woodfuel
boilers are coming to a building near you.
All across the West of England these
systems are being installed in order to cut
carbon emissions and save on heating costs.
Public sector biomass energy initiatives
The local authorities in the region are all
actively looking to install biomass boilers
in suitable buildings on their estates, such
as schools and leisure centres.
Already, Bristol City Council has installed
15 boilers at schools and has 10 projects
planned for installation in 2010-11.
Similarly, South Gloucestershire Council has
seven wood fuel boilers installed across its
estate (three are fuelled by wood pellets).
Established & growing demand
In total there is 9.1 megawatts (MW) of
biomass heating installed across the former
county of Avon. Collectively these projects require
over 4,000 tonnes of wood fuel per year. A
further 3.7 MW are in planning or have had
feasibility studies completed, with a
requirement of more than 2,700 tonnes of
wood fuel per year.
Current & future capacity
The local wood fuel resource should be ample
to meet the immediate and future demand for
at least the next five to ten years. As a
very rough guide there is around 25,000
tonnes of timber from local woodlands, tree
surgery and clean waste wood available to
fuel boilers in the West of England.
However, most of this capacity is in under-managed
woodlands which until now have been
uneconomic for timber extraction and
conversion to wood fuel. With increased
take-up of wood fuel boilers - and incentives
such as the Renewable Heat Incentive - we
are likely to see much development of this
area of energy resourcing over the next few