Primary - Mitigating climate change - by exploiting renewable energy:2010 - Woodfuel East

The aim of this 5-year project is to develop the woodfuel supply chain throughout the East of England, by offering grants for biomass boiler installations and extraction equipment for forest enterprises and advice and training.

The project came out of one of the actions from the 2003 Woodland Strategy. The first action was to establish the rationale for public sector support for encouraging woodfuel generation and then to secure significant support from Rural Development Programme England (RDPE). The outcome of this was the creation of Woodfuel East as the vehicle for the market delivery mechanism. From the outset a website was developed to provide advice, facilitation, training and act as an avenue for investment.

As at the mid-term evaluation Woodfuel East is on route to meet all its targets for: delivering grant monies to support the woodfuel supply chain, deliver carbon emission reductions and in bringing back woodland into management.

A key lesson was that; every level of the proposed supply and each geographical segment had to be involved throughout the development and implementation phases of the project. Securing the public sector commitment to funding (in this instance £4.3m) required an ongoing investment and considerable time and effort by the Forestry Commission. The RDPE processes and reporting requirements can be daunting to any organisation not familiar with the processes.

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