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Carbon savings with local wood fuels

Aug 13

Written by:
13/08/2014 12:02  RssIcon

TreeStation share offer open until 30th September 2014

Are wood fuels another eco-disaster waiting to happen? Vast amounts of timber are being sucked in from all over the world in order to satisfy subsidised power stations in the UK and Europe. Bio fuel Watch shows how EU subsidies may be helping to drive land grabs and lead to deforestation. Burning other people’s forests to make electricity is surely unethical and does not save carbon.

The UK is not squeaky clean either. Much of the available wood in the UK is being wasted or turned into wood chip and driven hundreds of miles to feed power stations too.

But projects like Manchester’s TreeStation are showing how local timber can be put to best use. The TreeStation's wood fuels have a very low embedded carbon - between 94% and 98% savings against the EU fossil fuel average.* These savings are mainly due to doing business locally: in 2013/14, 63% of their feedstock was sourced within a 15 mile radius and almost all of their customers are within Greater Manchester. Crucially, 67% of their feedstock comes from tree work arisings - the wood that is gathered during routine tree work - rather than from purpose grown forests.

TreeStation currently have an ongoing share offer to further improve their carbon savings and applications are welcome from all over the country. The money raised will be used to buy a biomass boiler and a kiln, as well as other essential equipment to improve firewood processing and delivery. Their aim is to substantially increase the amount of locally produced wood fuels and sawn timber in the Manchester area, by taking in material from other tree work contractors. Over time, they hope to change the culture of the whole industry, so that tree work arisings are seen as a fantastic resource rather than an inconvenient waste product.

The current deadline for this share offer is now 30th September 2014.

*based on the DECC lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions calculation tool, using data for 2013-14.






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