Shaw Renewables the bioenergy specialists

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Biomass…


Generating heat using timber biomass has become hugely popular in the UK over the last decade, so you’re likely to have some understanding of the process, but there some facts about biomass energy that you probably don’t know about…


1. Biomass can be used to generate electricity and supplies over 7% of the UK’s demand

The Drax power station in Yorkshire, UK generates approximately 25TWh of electricity using timber pellets. This biomass fuelled facility alone provides around 7% of the UK’s electricity demand¹.

2. Biomass boosts the UK economy

Projected figures suggest that by 2020 the biomass industry will support over 48,000 UK jobs². Globally the solid biomass sector currently supports over 700,000 jobs – around 238,000 of those jobs are within the EU³.

3. Not all biomass boilers are created equal.

The uptake of biomass heating systems over the last decade has caused an increase in the number of boiler brands available, offering consumers a greater choice. However with the wider choice came varying quality, which is bad news for consumers.

Unless you have a keen understanding of hydraulics and boiler mechanics, it’s difficult to know which brand of biomass boiler offers the best value for money, which is why it’s so important to work with an installation team that has experience in fitting and maintaining biomass boilers.

In addition to designing, installing and maintaining trusted, highly engineered biomass boilers, Shaw Renewables offer breakdown assistance for systems we have not installed. Since 2013 our engineers have seen a significant increase in the number of these boiler breakdown callouts and maintenance issues, often caused by mechanical failures resulting in lengthy downtime as well as costly repairs, or in some cases, the removal of boilers that have never functioned correctly. 

If you’re unsure as to the quality of boiler you’re being offered, here are some indicators that you could run in to issues:

The boiler manufacturer does not produce the parts that connect to the boiler. A common issue we come across is third party machinery and parts, such as fuel feeds, not fitting correctly or being unable to adjust to boiler settings – this can cause motor burnout, fuel blockages, leaks and more. Fit and compatibility issues won’t always cause issues immediately, but could result in a costly breakdown after warranty periods end. High end biomass boilers (such as Fröling) manufacture parts in house, ensuring a precise fit.


The manufacturer doesn’t require installers to undergo training. Almost all high quality biomass boiler manufacturers require installers to have undergone training with themselves or their UK representatives in order to maintain quality standards.


You cannot find case studies or reviews of the boiler online. If the manufacturer hasn’t been around long enough to have had reviews, awards or installations, the chances are their boilers will have some creases that need ironing out – dependant on your technical knowledge and mechanical skills, a cheaper option may cost you more in maintenance fees in the long run.