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Power firms criticised by environmentalists

In the UK, power companies such as Drax and RWE are facing opposition from the wood industry as they press ahead with biomass-fired power projects.

The price of wood has doubled since 2009 and the Wood Panel Industries Association is urging the government to remove the subsidies encouraging these biomass plants to come online. However, the subsidy programme for biomass in place at the moment is not due to expire until 2013.

Campaigners are concerned the increasing number of renewable power plants will result in job losses, increased wood imports and deforestation.

According to a spokesperson at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), however, the department's sustainability criteria ensures the department is aware of where the biomass was sourced and how it has been grown.