UK REA names new chair of Wood Heat Forum

By U.K. Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology | November 29, 2021

The U.K. Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has announced Terence McCracken as the new chair of its Wood Heat Forum.

McCracken has several years of experience in biomass heat and currently serves as U.K. and Ireland director of sales for Innasol, the distributor of ETA biomass boilers.

The “hard to treat” domestic off gas grid sector is estimated to be 20 percent of all domestic properties, equating to 260,000 domestic properties where biomass may be an appropriate solution. Biomass is also expected to play a significant role in commercial and industrial sector decarbonization as high heat loads from biomass provide the most cost-effective route to industrial decarbonization.

However, the government often labels the biomass heat sector as “niche” without quantifying the size of the market required. This label has become a barrier, as policy assumes the numbers involved in biomass heat to be insignificant. This is despite the potential role for biomass being an estimated 10 times larger than the existing biomass heat market.

This potential for growth, the ability to reach “hard to treat” properties, and well-established supply chains leave the biomass heat sector well placed to deliver significant carbon savings according to the Wood Heat Forum’s new chair.

The REA Wood Heat Forum, previously Wood Heat Association, has been representing the biomass heat sector since 2001. It brings together suppliers, manufacturers, installers, energy companies and developers.

Terence McCracken, Chair of the REA Wood Heat Forum, said, “I am honored to serve this Forum and represent all its members. It is an exciting time of change for biomass heat, and I am determined for our industry to speak with a clear voice and have its positions understood. I will be building on the achievements of my predecessor, Julian Morgan-Jones, from South East Wood Fuels, whilst looking for ways to improve our industry perceptions and assisting the REA to shape new policy.”

“My priority will be ensuring the Government recognizes the strong role biomass has to play in decarbonizing heat in the hard-to-treat sectors. From the over 260,000 off-gas grid houses across the U.K. to commercial buildings and industrial processes, the biomass heat industry stands ready to deliver massive carbon savings today.”

Frank Gordon, Director of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said, “I am delighted Terence has been elected Chair of the Wood Heat Forum. Biomass heat must take full advantage of upcoming opportunities, such as the closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive and the start of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

“It is vital we work to ensure these changes benefit the biomass heat sector and decarbonization of heat as a whole. I look forward to working with Terence to make this happen.”