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Wood: Carbon Emissions

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 4th March 2016.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps she is taking to reduce carbon emissions from wood stoves.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Directive 2009/125/EC established a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products. In April 2015 Commission Regulation 2015/1185 was published, which provides minimum standards for efficiencies of wood burning stoves placed on the European market from 2022 that will reduce their carbon emissions.

Wood burning stoves that have a back boiler attached are supported through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The scheme applies only to Great Britain.

Wood burning stoves are treated as having zero emissions for most inventory purposes, given that the biomass combustion releases the carbon captured during the trees’ lifetime; and that this loss of carbon from the forest is already recorded in the forestry section of the emissions inventory.

Different carbon emissions figures are used for lifecycle analysis of biomass – but these often relate to the transportation of the fuel and fuel preparation. Evidence to date suggests the fuel used in wood burning stoves, such as logs, is frequently sourced very locally with minimal preparation, and therefore has a relatively small footprint.

A tool is also available from Ofgem for calculating carbon emissions from biomass. It can be found on the Ofgem website at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/uk-solid-and-gaseous-biomass-carbon-calculator .

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