The British Furniture Confederation (BFC) has welcomed the announcement that there will be a turnaround in the Government’s policy of subsidising UK power stations to generate electricity from burning wood.
It is reported that the Government will announce it is proposing that subsidies for bespoke biomass burning plants should be capped at 400MW. It will end subsidies for biomass burning in existing stations by 2027.
The BFC has been leading a campaign against the policy on behalf of the industry, following the affect of the subsidies on the rise in the price of timber and its devastating knock-on effect on UK furniture manufacturing.
The BFC has been challenging the policy since 2010, publishing the report Biomass subsidies and their impact on the British Furniture Industry in 2011, handing in petitions to No 10 and No 11 Downing Street, and most recently teaming up with the RSPB, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and industry stakeholders in writing to The Times decrying the subsidies.
BFC Chairman, Paul von der Heyde, says: “We welcome the announcement today – 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 leant his considerable support to our campaign.”