A Burning Solution
Sales of wood burning stoves have rocketed over recent months. So much so that producers have struggled to meet demands. But could the latest 'must have' accessory for the style-concious householder be part of the solution in meeting our renewables targets?
Burning woodchip - or biomass - can provide both heat and electricity. It is environmentally friendly since the carbon has already been captured by the tree as it has grown and it is a renewable resource, so has wood's time come?
In this week's Costing The Earth we look at the range of biomass heating schemes in the UK – from small-scale wood-burning stoves that can effectively heat a home, to huge projects that are on the horizon: a massive biomass power station is planned at Port Talbot in South Wales. On the way we meet a bona fide environmental maverick in Barnsley where government renewable targets have been reached decades in advance.
We find out what the government is doing, if it really is green, and whether vast swathes of woodland would be chopped down to make an impact on our renewables target. And with the Port Talbot plant set to import a lot of the biomass from Canada, how sustainable is that project?