The use (or not) of biomass as the primary heating system in several of Edinburgh's new schools continues to become ever more byzantine ...
... don't usually copy word-for-word other colleagues' Council Questions into the blog, but one of my Green colleagues has just received the answer below which is worth printing in full:
"QUESTION NO 9
By Councillor Burgess to be answered by the Convener of the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee at a meeting of the Council on 5 February 2009
Given the recent findings by the Scottish Government on biomass technology, will the Administration now install biomass heating systems in those new schools for which biomass has been put on hold?
The Director of Services for Communities has confirmed that guidance from the Scottish Government is still awaited on the use of biomass boilers and our professional officers are recommending that the precautionary principle should remain in place meantime. The modelling study, published by the Scottish Government in November 2008, which I'm presuming the question refers to, indicated that in urban areas where levels of particulates are already high, the use of biomass may add to these levels.
However, I can give an assurance that consideration will be given to the use of biomass boilers in PPP2 schools, when the Scottish Government guidance to local authorities becomes available and has been properly considered."
Amazing - almost a year to-the-day after this blog entry ... we are absolutely no further forward :-(
I would love to be wrong on this one, but when the Scottish Government guidance comes out (and it will do very soon) and recommends that the air quality impacts of biomass combustion can be controlled and any harmful emissions reduced to acceptable levels, it won't make a blind bit of difference to the new schools in Edinburgh as by that time some of them will actually be open and be heated by traditional methods with the cost of conversion deemed too expensive ...
... anybody want to take a bet on that??