Reassuring response to fuel supply concerns
In response to concerns raised online and by some in the locally community, below is clarification of Sleaford REP's fuel sourcing including supporting words from the National Farmers Union.
Mike Harrison, Sleaford REP Communications Manager said:
‘We have a policy of sourcing our straw fuel within a fifty mile radius of the Plant with a majority within thirty miles – we will not and have no need for, biomass that is imported to the UK. Discussions and negotiations have been taking place with local famers and suppliers ever since the Plant began construction last year. A large proportion of our fuel needs are with farmers and suppliers on long term contracts.
The NFU are supportive of our fuel sourcing model and we have taken steps to address farmers’ concerns, reassuring local suppliers and users of straw about our aim to create a steady, predictable fuel demand as was reported and welcomed on the NFU’s website in August (http://www.nfuonline.com/science-environment/renewables/nfu-and-npa-hail-clarity-on-straw-energy-market/).
We are very happy to talk with local farmers further to discuss possible fuel sourcing including one off supplies if they have surpluses in a particular year, as well as any issues they may have.’
Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU's chief renewable energy adviser says:
"The development of straw burning power stations is a positive step for arable farmers as it provides a new market for what has traditionally been a by-product of crop production, straw. Crop residues would usually be chopped and go back onto the land after harvest, but with the advent of straw-fired power stations, there is now a growing opportunity for additional income per hectare.
The NFU is pleased that power generators have taken steps to address farmers' concerns, reassuring local suppliers and users of straw about their aim to create a steady, predictable fuel demand, while creating new markets for oilseed rape straw, for which there are few existing uses. The contribution of Britain's farmers to the development of bioenergy sources has been increasing gradually over the last ten years and the benefit of farming's involvement in the renewable energy sector will continue to grow, helping us all to reduce our future reliance on fossil fuels and our impact on the world's climate."