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Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the availability of woodchips for burning as a renewable fuel; whether he has assessed the impact of woodchip incineration on the wood panel industry; and what representations he has received from the Woodpanel Industries Federation in respect of industrial competition for woodchip stocks. (95889)

The DTI commissioned an independent report to aid understanding of the current and likely future impact of the Renewables Obligation (RO) on the wood-based panel industry relative to other factors affecting the commercial position of that industry; and to help the DTI develop a deeper understanding of the wood fuels/products supply chains as it applies to the wood-based panel industry and power generators. This report concluded in September 2005 that the RO has not had a major impact on the commercial competitiveness of the wood panel industry. A further report on the Economics of Co-firing examined the availability and economics of different renewable fuels including wood chips and wood residues. The report published on 9 October 2006 can be found at:

The Woodpanel Industries Federation has met with officials to discuss the impact of the RO on their industry.