Biomass – pushing up the price of your cupboards?

Biomass subsidies are pushing wood prices up which is badly affecting the furniture industry, an MP warned yesterday. The Furniture Industry Retail Association recently noted the “detrimental effect” the Renewables […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Biomass subsidies are pushing wood prices up which is badly affecting the furniture industry, an MP warned yesterday.

The Furniture Industry Retail Association recently noted the “detrimental effect” the Renewables Obligation’s woody biomass subsidy is having on British manufacturing and has suggested a planning moratorium on new dedicated woody biomass energy plants.

MP Graham Jones picked up their concern in a Commons debate yesterday on the new fuel source.

Mr Jones said: “In the past five years we have seen wood prices rise by 55% because of biomass subsidies.

An employer in my constituency, the furniture manufacturer Senator, which employs about 1,000 people has to compete against rising wood prices simply because of the biomass subsidy.”

He challenged Energy Minister Greg Barker: “Should not the Government consider the impact of biomass subsidies on employment in furniture manufacturers and other wood-using companies, as well as the impact on the environment?”

Mr Barker replied: “Traditional users of British timber and wood waste have legitimate concerns, which we continue to hear. We will continue to ensure that their voice is clearly heard in policy making.”