The Government has announced a turnaround in its policy of subsidising UK power stations to generate electricity from burning wood. The Government will reportedly propose that subsidies for bespoke biomass burning plants should be capped at 400MW, and that subsidies for biomass burning in existing stations will end by 2027.
Since 2010, the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) has led a campaign against the policy on behalf of the industry, following the effect of the subsidies on the rise in the price of timber and its devastating knock-on effect on UK furniture manufacturing.
BFC chairman, Paul von der Heyde, says: “We welcome the announcement – this is a victory for common sense and a result of the industry’s lobbying, which helped to highlight the issues caused by the biomass subsidies. Government subsidies for large biomass power companies have driven the demand for virgin timber, resulting in increases in its price. It never made sense that virgin timber was being burned on a large scale rather than being used to produce products, such as furniture, before having a second life.
“We are disappointed that the full removal of subsidies will not take place until 2027. We will continue to pressurise for this to happen sooner to allow the UK furniture industry to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world. We would like to thank everyone involved for their support, including the media organisations that promoted the story and, in particular, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group, Stephen McPartland MP, who lent his considerable support to our campaign.”