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Mixed reactions to REA campaign

The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) ‘back biomass’ campaign has divided opinion within the waste and recycling sector.

The campaign, which calls on the Government to provide greater levels of support for biomass from the forthcoming Renewables Obligation (RO) banding review, has been welcomed by Green Energy Parks’ managing director Chris Williams. He believes the campaign provides a “much-needed forum” to deliver a “coherent message”

“At Green Energy Parks, we believe strongly in finding effective solutions to boost energy security, at the same time as helping to cut emissions and divert waste away from landfill.  Biomass technology presents a powerful means to achieve all of these things,” he said.

“As the Government has recognised, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution for low carbon generation, but it is also clear that biomass provides the stability, flexibility and affordability to take a significant role in achieving a balanced energy mix. We urge everyone to get behind this campaign.”

However, the campaign has been received with more caution by the Wood Panel Industries Federation. Director general Alistair Kerr said: “We disagree with the campaigin in the sense that they [the REA] are not differentiating the demand for more subsidy, they just want more subsidy regardless. They need to explain why they need more subsidy.

“You can see the costs of importing [wood] are greater than domestically, so there is a case potentially for subsidising the transport costs, but in order to level the playing field, Government would need to recognise you need to subdivide the current banding regieme because it’s too broad brush to recognise these variations.”

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