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'Use wood for fuel

PUBLISHED: 11:29 27 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:25 06 July 2010

SENIOR councillors in Waveney are being urged to consider the use of wood as a fuel at its sites across the district.

The use of wood as a renewable fuel is being hailed by many as a positive move towards reducing carbon emissions and saving money.

SENIOR councillors in Waveney are being urged to consider the use of wood as a fuel at its sites across the district.

The use of wood as a renewable fuel is being hailed by many as a positive move towards reducing carbon emissions and saving money.

Now a Waveney District Council committee is asking its cabinet to approve recommendations that include reviewing the authority's own fuel usage, and considering switching to wood as a fuel source.

If the council takes action, it would be another success for Woodfuel East, a project that was launched last year to promote the use of locally sourced wood from existing undermanaged woodlands

as fuel.

Under the project, which was granted £4.3m by the East of England Development Agency, trees from local woodlands are felled, chipped and burned in woodchip boilers to heat buildings. Woodlands are re-planted and harvested on a long-term cycle.

The project's first example was on the Heveningham Estate near Halesworth, which heats 26 properties including its stately home Heveningham Hall, using woodchips from its own woodland. Woodchips boilers have also been installed at schools across Suffolk since the project's launch.

Suffolk County Council's woodlands advisory team and Woodfuel East made a presentation to the council's overview & scrutiny committee, whose chairman John Shanahan said afterwards that wood fuel offered a win-win-win opportunity.

“Improved management of woodlands could enhance wildlife habitats, create local employment and make a significant impact on reducing harmful CO2 emissions,” he said. “I was also delighted to learn that waste wood from Lowestoft's Jeld Wen timber business is now being pelletised and used across Suffolk to heat numerous schools as well as the town's landmark OrbisEnergy building.”

Recommendations also include reviewing fuel use at community amenities such as village halls, facilities of partners at sites such as Waterlane Leisure Centre and Lowestoft College, and identifying potential wood sources in the district.


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