Householders who use logs may be paying a hidden cost of 'green' gas production, says a Banbury area man
The price of logs – not imported like oil or mains gas – has soared, in many cases with a rise in price of 50 per cent. And a Banburyshire man believes production of ‘green’ gas is one of the reasons why.
Mick Morris of Farthinghoe reported paying £12.50 for a small plastic bag of logs from a filling station last week. A pick-up truck delivery of logs is around £150 – a rise of 50 per cent on a year ago.
Mr Morris said his regular supplier doubted there would be future supplies because anaerobic digesters are being advised to use wood to improve production of methane gas.
A new company, now sold to Spanish owners, has put in for planning permission for huge anaerobic digesters in Tysoe, Evenley, Witney and other locations, using agricultural crops to produce methane gas which would be brought to Banbury in tankers to deposit into the national grid.
The company, Acorn, has not said it would use wood chips in its planning applications. However a recent study has recommended use of these, mixed with agricultural feedstocks to increase efficient gas production.
Mr Morris said: “Logs are now in short supply for domestic use and the price has gone through the roof. Why? Because digester operators have cornered the market and use them in digesters along with, or instead of, waste materials. How’s that for the Government shooting themselves in the foot?”
"Logs from the Farthinghoe Recycling centre have gone up to £8.50. They made clear that they were embarrassed to have to charge this amount but their supplier had doubled the price.
"They charged £12.50 for a bag from BP, Brackley which lasted four hours in our very small woodburner.”
Some are against anaerobic digesters because they believe agricultural land should be used for food crops to help Britain be more self-sustaining.
The Sage study into the use of wood chips in anaerobic digesters suggested an effective methane fermentation of food waste was achieved by mixing wood chips with feedstock, to minimise the sludge generation in the process.