Bloco de Esquerda wants to limit the export of wood and “pellets” as one of the measures to prevent Portuguese households’ heating bill, estimated at 600 euros a year, from worsening due to rising prices.
In a question to the Government, submitted to the Assembly of the Republic and published on that day by the party, the deputy group of the Bloc “believes to answer the average consumerfacing 600 euros of additional costs during this cold season, it is important to set limits on the export of wood and pellets and ensure that domestic consumers are supplied at prices set by the government.”
The parliamentary initiative follows “a sharp increase in the price of pelletsfrom three to 10 euros, which, with the average consumption of a family, corresponds to spending 600 euros more per year,” the party reports say.
The use of pellets for heating has grown in recent years as they are considered cheaper than other solutions available on the market, but this winter prices have risen sharply.
According to Bloco de Esquerda (BE), “according to the Household Energy Survey, 115,000 households spent an average of €280 on pellets” in 2020.
BE wants to “know what measures the government will take to prevent increase in household bills by 600 euros per year who use pellets for home heating and/or water heating.”
The party’s parliamentary group also asks “what measures has the government taken to ensure that biomass power plants do not resort to energy crops, and will the government reduce the installed capacity of biomass power plants and the need to build new power plants, given the shortage of residual biomass “.
According to the data provided by BE, “in 2021, the power pellet production in Portugal increased by 50% and the opening of new plants is still subsidized from European funds without public disclosure of the scale of their production or the origin of the biomass used.”
The party also mentions that “according to the Centro Pinus, an association of economic agents in the maritime pine sector, the industry consumes 57% more than the Portuguese forests can sustainably provide.”
“So we face competition between different sectors (biomass for combustion, sawmilling, pallets, furniture or civil engineering) for a limited resource,” he notes.
Block also states that “according to research published by Zero, pellet production consumes 20% of all pine woodbut is only 3% of the value of exports of products based on this wood.
“And this economic value has to be put into perspective, as it includes high government subsidies of at least €100 million since 2008,” he adds, noting that “the situation is exacerbated by the massive export of biomass to mega centers in the United Kingdom and Denmark”.