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MRW: MPs support waste wood biomass


Biomass power generation must focus on waste, Labour’s shadow energy secretary said.


Tom Greatrex told MPs there should be no objections to biomass energy if it was generated from sustainable waste wood sources.

But, Greatrex called for clarity on the definition of ‘waste wood’. He said different industries had different interpretations of waste and that required more engagement from Government.

“It is important because anyone’s starting point with biomass is that it needs to be sustainable and focused on genuine waste products—products that cannot be used in any other meaningful way, such as in furniture or in the wood panel industry, which can use lower-grade wood than the furniture industry.”

Energy minister John Hayes said work was on going to resolve the issue of definitions of waste.  

MPs said it was important, in the wake of recent criticisms, to differentiate solid biomass from liquid biofuels which have been accused of being environmentally damaging.

MP Nigel Adams (Con) said woody biomass from forestry residues and waste wood had “robust sustainability criteria”.

Adam said converting old coal-fired power stations to biomass could play an important role in keeping the lights on in the short to medium term.