Forest furnaces lose out in poll
DAVID KILLICK | July 18, 2011
AUSTRALIANS oppose wood-fired power stations by a margin of three to one, Greens leader Bob Brown says.
The release of a public opinion poll commissioned by the Greens came as Forestry Tasmania vowed to push on with plans for a wood-fired power station despite removal of subsidies under the federal carbon tax plan.
The government-owned business has environmental approval to build a power station fired by forest waste at the Southwood site in the Huon Valley.
The Federal Government removed biomass from the list of renewable energy sources in its carbon tax plan.
Senator Brown has released public opinion polling which supports the decision.
"Australians agree by a three-to-one majority, and the majority gets bigger at the older end of the age spectrum, that forest furnaces should not be accredited as renewable energy," he said.
"I think that's because older people have seen so much destruction of our forests and wildlife habitat in their lifetimes that they feel even more strongly about it."
Forestry Tasmania assistant general manager Michael Wood said the Greens' rising influence had enabled them to hamper development of biomass energy.
"Clearly the Greens lobbied the Government to remove native forest revenues from the criteria for certificating renewable energy," Mr Wood said yesterday.
He said forest waste was a bountiful, cheap and renewable resource, but would now find it harder to compete with alternative fuels.
"It has the potential to reduce the perceived impact of our regeneration burns by up to 70 per cent," he said.
"It all gets burned anyway. Burning it this way means the smoke emissions and the particulates could all be removed."