British biomass plants generate big increase in north American wood fuel imports

 Large biomass generators’ wood demand to be met from imports Source DECC Jan 2015
The larger area shaded in light blue charts wood fuel imports, compared to UK sources of ‘virgin’ and ‘recovered’ wood in darker blue. Source DECC Jan 2015

Imports of North American wood fuel to supply British biomass power plants has tripled over the past five years – largely due to recent conversions of coal-fired power stations.

The bulk of the wood fuel imports (66%) – mostly in pellets – comes from US and Canadian saw mills.

However, according to the latest Woodfuel Survey by the Department for Energy (DECC) domestic UK demand is now expected to remain steady at around 1.4 million oven dried tonnes to 2020.

The anticipated increase in biomass generation over the next five years will continue to be met through imports.

The majority of woody biomass has been sourced from North America, primarily from existing forestry and processing practices. This trend is expected to continue to 2020.

Biofuel Timber biofuel is available in abundance and forms the basis of Scotland's feedstock opportunityThe amount of UK wood taken for electricity and CHP generation has remained fairly constant.

Demand for UK ‘virgin wood’ remains constant 400,000 to 500,000 million oven-dried tonnes pa.

Not all biomass power generators responded to the DECC survey – but all of the 13 largest generators did.

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed