Protesters target biomass conference

Protesters targeted a biomass conference in London by yelling slogans such as “Biomass is crass” and waving placards reading “Biomassacre”. Around twenty protesters gathered outside the European Biomass to Power […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Protesters targeted a biomass conference in London by yelling slogans such as “Biomass is crass” and waving placards reading “Biomassacre”.

Around twenty protesters gathered outside the European Biomass to Power conference in Kensington on Wednesday night to express their dismay at the UK’s support for the growing energy source.

Deepak Rughani, spokesman for BiofuelWatch, one of the campaign groups which organised the protest told ELN: “This conference is pulling together all the big biomass companies from around the country who are trying to set up their supply chains in order to feed the [growing] number of biomass plants in the pipeline in the UK.”

He suggested plans to expand the country’s supply chain could “increase our current consumption by about six-fold”.

The campaign group says the UK is one of the “biggest drivers” of the biomass power industry and is concerned this will boost demand for wood chips and wood pellets from abroad, such as rainforests in South America.

Biomass was Europe’s biggest employer in the renewable sector in 2010, according to the European Commission-backed research group EurObserv’ER. Both the UK Government and industry believes biomass will be indispensable if we’re to meet UK and EU low carbon targets by 2020.

Renewables bodies say the “right” biomass emits less carbon than traditional fossil fuels.

But Mr Rughani said the UK should be focusing on using less energy instead.