EXCLUSIVE: The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has reported that the UK's domestic use of wood-based biomass to generate electricity is expected to remain steady over the next five years.
The government department unveiled the announcement in its Wood Disclosure Survey 2015 published today (8 January 2015).
The document drew its conclusions from OFGEM data and a voluntary survey distributed to large-scale electricity users of biomass. The information analysed covered the period from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
The study highlighted that domestic demand is expected to remain steady at around 1.4m oven dried tonnes (the dry weight of the fuel [ODT]) to 2020. From the period 1 April 2014-31 March 2015 the UK used around 345,000 ODT of wood-based biomass for energy generation, according to DECC.
In its survey conclusions, DECC said that notes from the OFGEM data showed that the UK increased the amount of recovered wood it used from 12,000 ODT during the period from 1 April 2014-31 March 2015 to 15,000 ODT for the same period last year.
The UK also increased the amount of virgin wood it imported from 150,000 ODT for the period 1 April 2013-31 March 2014 to 200,000 ODT for the period 1 April 2014-31 March 2015.
In a statement, DECC said the increase in imported biomass is coinciding with the development of coal-to-biomass conversions. It also said that UK-based wood taken for electricity and combined heat and power generation is fairly constant, with "no indication of developing resource constraint issues".
A total of 66% of wood-based biomass is imported into the UK, DECC said. Around 59% of wood is from North America and 31% is from the UK.
Around 11% of non-wood biomass is from North America and 77% from the UK, DECC concluded.
This article was written by Liz Gyekye, editor at Biofuels International.