Friday, 10 May 2013

Should burning Britain’s forests to create electricity be stopped? - Norbord

I have raised the issue of government subsidies to energy from biomass producers which has forced up wood prices for other industries. Notably furniture manufacturers in the North West. Our wood consumption rate far exceeds our wood production rate and there are questions about the environmental benefits requiring decades to payback.

I believe electricity from biomass is important - and the government have just paid a grant to switch the huge Drax facility from coal to biomass – and setting aside the unclear debate about the envronmental impact, the answer to price inflation is to increase forestry production. Currently production is way below future anticipated demand. I raised this point during the passage of the energy bill in committee around the contracts for difference which is a contract stating the subsidy that will be given to renewable energy producers based on the source and energy output.

Below is contribution to the debate from Nobord who are concerned about the explosion of the biomass industry in the UK and the subsidies involved.

From: Karl Morris
Sent: 09 May 2013 15:18
To: JONES, Graham
Subject: Why burning Britain's forests to create electricity needs to be stopped

The full-page advertisement in the link below continues to appear in the major broadsheet newspapers.

Fronted by Norbord, a leading manufacturer of wood products, it raises the concerns of a group of influential organisations about the environmental disaster that will be caused by subsidising energy companies to burn Britain's forests to create electricity.

Already a number of environmentalists and celebrities interested in the environment have told us that they believe the subject deserves greater scrutiny. Please do whatever you can to prompt the debate that it deserves.

In the meantime, you can learn more of the facts on any of the websites listed below or please call me. I'd be happy to tell you more.

It's never too late to change minds and policy. We hope we can count on your support.

Yours sincerely,

Karl Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Norbord

Norbord Europe Ltd
Station Road
Cowie FK7 7BQ
01786 819276


As one of the leading users of forestry products in the UK we believe that it is important for us to champion what's best for our industry and British purchasers and users of our products and to support the 4,000 people employed in our industry.

Just like water and food, wood is a precious resource. Its environment needs to be protected and its use optimised.

Within our industry we champion wood-related matters; from the iniquitous misuse of Britain's forests as a resource to legislation that protects the world's rainforests.

We work closely with forest owners including the Forestry Commission and have also helped forest owners to become FSC certified.

At many of our sites we are the largest single employer in the area in which they are located.