REA (the Renewable Energy Association) has announced that the newly formed Wood Heat Association (WHA) will join as an affiliate trade association today (22 May).
The announcement was made by REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska and the WHA's Neil Harrison at the All-Energy Exhibition & Conference in Aberdeen.
Wood heat is the fastest growing source of low carbon heating for UK homes and businesses under the Government's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Under the partnership, the WHA will benefit from the REA's back-office support and proven policy expertise in much the same way as the Solar Trade Association (STA), which affiliated to the REA in 2011.
Julian Morgan-Jones, managing director of South East Wood Fuels and interim chairman of the WHA, said: 'This is an exciting time for the wood heat industry. Wood heat is rapidly becoming one of the major players in UK renewables.
'Our number one focus is securing the future of the RHI beyond 2016. Beyond that, we are also working to professionalise the industry so it is well equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.
'An important first step is to raise awareness and standards across the wood heat supply chain: from boiler design, manufacture and installation to the safety, quality and sustainability of wood fuel. Together we're seeking to encourage more joined up thinking between fuel suppliers and equipment installers,' he explained.
Dr Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, said: 'The REA consistently champions the benefits of all renewable energy sources, which all help reduce our reliance on imported and polluting fossil fuels while offering exciting opportunities for jobs and growth in innovative businesses. The WHA will drill down more deeply into the specific benefits of wood heating as a key part of a sustainable bio-based economy, helping households and businesses cut their heating costs as well as their environmental impacts.'