An Anthesis overview of today’s wood waste market, and projections for the future.
A large number of wood waste to power plants reached financial close between 2014 and 2017. They are to be built under the Renewable Obligation Certification by March 2018. The promise of these new plants has led to much discussion about closing the wood waste capacity gap in the near future; the ‘capacity gap’ refers to the current difference between wood waste supply and demand, with supply currently exceeding demand.
There is also discussion around the impact of these new plants on wood waste availability, and in particular wood fuel pricing, which is agreed in longterm contracts by developers, fuel suppliers, plant owners and operators. While the clean wood biomass sector very much depends on imports, the wood waste market is a UK-led market relying on domestic supply of feedstock.
The wood waste industry has a complex supply chain that involves numerous sectors, and is dependent on a number of interrelated factors. Wood waste arisings are not driven by demand for wood waste-derived products; instead, they are driven by consumer behavior and macro-economics, and the industry’s ability to collect, process, and manage wood waste. While wood consumption in the UK is well understood and recorded, there are no detailed up-to-date datasets tracing the actual volume of annual wood waste arisings from the different sources e.g. local authority, commercial industrial and construction and demolition sectors.
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