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British Public Doesn't See Biomass as a Renewable Energy Source

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 4 years ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

Less than a quarter of Britons believe that biomass should be classed as a renewable energy resource, according to research carried out by YouGov.


The poll found that 55% of respondents believed that biomass - made from burning forest wood and industry wood waste - should not be considered within the country's renewable energy mix.


82% of those who responded also believed that the UK government should seek to maintain the gains made in air quality over the Covid-19 lockdown period by investing further in clean energy sources such as wind and solar power.


Further investigation showed that just 8% of the British public felt that biomass should be promoted using forest wood taken from British sources, and only 3% felt that the government should be providing subsidies to firms that burned wood sourced from overseas forests.


The Natural Resources Defence Council commented on the study and said that it showed how public views were clear: burning wood to create energy is both destructive and unpopular.


Biomass has often been seen as a bridging technology between polluting fossil fuels and clean renewable energies. The emissions released from burning wood match the C02 that plants absorb during their growth phase. However, there have always been concerns about the way that fuel is sourced. For example, biomass can be taken from waste material that the paper industries generate to minimise landfill. But many sources simply cut down trees from forests.


The NRDC added that the government should act fast to remove wasteful subsidies for an industry which was ultimately polluting, especially when the country's people didn't view it as a renewable energy. In this respect, spokesperson Sasha Stashwick said data showed that there was a significant disconnect between public opinion and the current energy policy.