30/08/2005

NIE launch wood pellet heating scheme

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has this week launched a new renewable energy initiative offering businesses across the province grant support to install wood pellet heating units.

The scheme, which has been developed by NIE in partnership with Invest NI and Enniskillen wood pellet producer Balcas, will see wood pellet units used as stand alone room heaters or integrated as part of the central heating system.

NIE’s Delta Hamilton said new technologies, such as stoves and boilers which use sustainable fuel, would have a positive impact on the local environment.

“We hope all types of businesses will see the economic and environmental benefits of using this sustainable fuel as part of their energy mix," she said.

“Balcas' 'brites' are a bio fuel pellet made using the residual material from wood processing. Wood fuels have a significant role to play in combating climate change because the CO2 released when the wood is converted to energy has previously been taken out of the atmosphere as the trees were growing.

"Wood fuel is therefore classed as ‘Carbon Neutral Fuel’ and less pollution is produced compared to burning fossil fuels. We are offering businesses grant support for both wood pellet stoves and wood pellet boilers, a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel heating systems.”

NIE said it hopes the new method of heating will become as widely used in Northern Ireland as it has done throughout North America, Canada and Scandinavia.

(MB/SP)

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