In our first edition of the ‘Surface’ newsletter, we drew attention to what we termed as unfair use of government subsidies in supporting the growth of biomass plants within the UK and the knock-on effect this is having on both the price and availability of wood based products consumed within our industry.
Since our last newsletter, a petition co-ordinated by FIRA and the British Furniture Confederation was presented to the Prime Minister highlighting the impact that these subsidies are having on wood prices. Further pressure continues to be brought to government from such bodies as The Wood Panel Industries Federation in the hope that a more pragmatic approach may be brought to policy.
The government’s updated support mechanism for biomass electricity generation of July ‘12 highlights a preference for energy generators to convert their existing coal fired power stations to biomass plants (rather than build new) in order to meet carbon reduction targets. Drax are to convert three of its six generators to burn biomass with others following suit, the true impact of which will not be known for some months.
In the meantime, we at Decorative Panels continue to lobby government at all levels. During a recent visit to our plant we took the opportunity of raising the issue with the Chancellor, George Osborne, who was extremely concerned by the impact of the policy and asked that we follow with a detailed appraisal of the situation.