Bio-fuel revolution could be sparked

A MAJOR contract to supply eco-friendly, woodchip fuel to the County Council could spark increased interest in eco-friendly heating.

A MAJOR contract to supply eco-friendly, woodchip fuel to the County Council could spark increased interest in eco-friendly heating.

This week Devon County Council will officially commission its new 840kW woodchip heating system at County Hall, and hope the new biomass boiler will cut annual emissions by sixty per cent and �20,000 a year in energy costs.

Until now the County Hall campus has been heated by gas and electric storage heaters which have generated 269 tonnes of CO2 annually and cost �55,300 a year to run.

Much of the annual supply of woodchip fuel will be sourced from Clinton Devon Estates woodland near Newton Poppleford.


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Forestry Manager, John Wilding said: "We are delighted that our woodchip will be supplying Devon County Council and believe that its decision to change to a biomass heating system shows that the council is backing a green agenda in terms of actions as well as words.

"Clinton Devon Estates has already made a substantial investment to create a strategic reserve of woodchip.

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"We hope the contract with the County Council will act as a catalyst for the growth of this sustainable fuel market.

"The fact that we can supply on this scale and that fuel is readily available into the foreseeable future should give a great deal of confidence to anyone looking for a green heating source for a large property."

Woodchip is made from the lowest quality timber which previously would have been transported to North Devon or North Wales to be made into chipboard.

The woodchip supplies the estates' wood fuel heating systems as well as local commercial customers.

Woodchip provides a virtually carbon free fuel as it is calculated that the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere as the wood is combusted is the same amount of CO2 that would have been released naturally if the tree died and decomposed. As new trees are planted and the forests continue to grow, CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere and converted into timber and so is, in effect, recycled.

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