Tuesday, 28 October 2014

National Woodfuel Conference 2014

The Pathfinder project recently attended the National Wood Fuel Conference which took place on October 17th at Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking in Surrey.

The event was very well attended and many of the most notable wood fuel, biomass and forestry companies were in attendance.  The event was expertly put together by Surrey Hills Enterprises (part of the Surrey Hills AONB).

Highlights for us included a presentation by Ben Ditchburn from the Forestry Commission (see here) who provided strong evidence of the level of timber and biomass stocks in woodlands in the South East of England.  

Ben's presentation was widely appreciated, primarily because his data confirmed how timber extraction, even at enhanced levels, will sit comfortably alongside increasing stocks of timber and carbon in our forests.

Guy Boulby from DECC, who's presentation covered the future of heating in the UK, discussed the likely role that biomass heating will play over the next 20 to 30 years.  Ben explained how biomass will act as an important transition technology until other technologies will start to play a bigger role.

Of great interest was the launch of new biomass heating guidance from CIBSE by David Palmer and his colleagues.

The presentation provided a background to why the guidance was needed and how it has been developed.

The guidance, which can be downloaded free of charge from the CIBSE website, focuses on technical aspects and will be of most use to biomass heating installers, heating engineers and people and building services specialists.

All in all the National Wood Fuel Conference, now in its fourth year, provided an authoritative demonstration of wood fuel sustainability and how the biomass sector can help bring neglected woodlands back into positive management.

All of the presentations can be found here.

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