Shadow Minister learns about crucial role of waste wood biomass

The Shadow Minister for Energy Security, Dr Alan Whitehead, learnt about the important role that waste wood plays in delivering renewable biomass power during a meeting organised by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA).

Dr Whitehead, who is also Labour MP for Southampton Test, was shown around the waste wood operation at Eco Sustainable Solutions’ Eco Park in Dorset on Tuesday, 3 October, before hearing from the WRA about the wider waste wood industry.

At the Eco Park, Eco processes 65,000 tonnes of waste wood a year into BioFuel, some of which powers its in-house Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant which provides renewable heat and electricity for the site. Eco also processes a number of other organic waste streams at the 32-acre site, ranging from green waste to street sweepings.

After the tour, the WRA’s Chair Richard Coulson and Executive Director Julia Turner provided an overview of the UK waste wood market and outlined the many benefits the waste wood sector brings.

However, Mr Coulson explained that the UK’s waste wood-powered biomass fleet, which provides a vital outlet for lower quality waste wood, was at risk due to uncertainty over long-term support for the sector post ROCs/RHI. He therefore emphasised the importance of the sector being supported in future biomass policy.

Commenting on the visit, Dr Whitehead said: “Delivering a clean power system by 2030 will be a core mission of the new Labour government if we are privileged enough to win the election. This will mean lower bills, energy security, and jobs and investment across the country.

“I was delighted to visit another sustainable local business and to hear more about the role that waste wood could play in generating renewable energy.”

Richard Coulson said: “It was a pleasure to meet Alan and talk to him about our sector.

He was particularly interested to hear about the proportion of biomass energy produced from waste wood and how our sector can be best supported by future government policy.”

“At what is a critical time for our industry he was very receptive to our messages and how we are making the best use of our domestic waste resource to contribute to wider environmental goals.”

“We would like to thank Alan for taking the time to meet with us.”

Peter Hardy, Business Development Director for Eco Sustainable Solutions led the site tour and said: “At Eco we are committed to finding ever more sustainable solutions for waste so we were very pleased to show Alan around our wood processing operation and our wider Eco Park.

“He was very impressed with our facility when he visited a few years ago so it was great to show him how we have grown and to share our plans for the future.”

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