Today I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on the benefits of biomass as a source of renewable energy. Biomass is a process of using organic matters as a source of energy such as woodchip or agricultural by products.
Currently over 2,000 jobs in Scotland are now based in the biomass sector and Scottish Renewables believes the industry has “massive potential for growth in the future.” This comes as George Osborne has announcement that spending on the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) would be around £690 million less than previously forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
The social, economic and environmental benefits of integrating biomass fuels into to our local communities here in Inverclyde is endless. Biomass plants create jobs directly through construction and in the operation and maintenance of facilities. Employment opportunities are also created in the supply chain through transportation but also in growing and harvesting raw materials.
Local company, West Coast Woodfuels, founded by farmer Alastair McIntyre, demonstrates the potential for growth in the biomass sector in Inverclyde. There is a potential to create a strong local market for biomass fuel, close to producers, minimising carbon emissions which in turn is a healthier option for our environment.
Scotland is ambitious and we take our responsibility to tackle climate change seriously – it’s time for the UK Government to do likewise.