Target of an extra two million tonnes of wood fuel a year

The Foresty Commission has launched a wood fuel strategy to boost the supply of environmentally-friendly fuels and provide enough energy to power 250,000 homes.

The action plan aims to produce the wood fuel market with an extra two million tonnes of wood a year by 2020, saving 400,000 tonnes of carbon annually-the equivalent of taking 550,000 cars off the road.

Carbon released by burning wood fuel is absorbed by growing more trees. As well as cutting carbon and producing renewable energy, wood fuel benefits biodiversity through sustainable management of neglected woodlands and boosts the rural economy.

Biomass such as wood fuel currently supplies 3% of total UK energy.

Barry Gardiner, biodiversity minister, said: "Using wood instead of fossil fuels means that sustainably managed woodland can be a significant resource for a low carbon economy. Stimulating the wood fuel market is good for jobs too, and this new strategy gives people the tools to realise the broad range of benefits that wood fuel has to offer."