[permaculture] Biomass Power Stations in UK

Saor Stetler saor at ycbtal.net
Mon May 30 15:35:44 EDT 2005

Grass-burning power station on the wayAlok Jha, science correspondent
Monday May 30, 2005


Britain's first major electricity plant to be fuelled by grass will 
begin construction later this year.

The £6.5m power station in Staffordshire will be burn locally cultivated 
elephant grass and will be able to supply 2,000 homes with electricity.

Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass, the company behind the 
power station, said the project was of major importance to rural 
industry in Staffordshire and offered another way to meet the UK's 
obligation to reduce carbon emissions, because burning the elephant 
grass will only release the carbon dioxide that the plants soaked up 
anyway while they were growing.

The plant could be a key element in the quest to tackle climate change. 
With only 1% of the world's population, the UK produces 3% of the 
world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Power stations are a major factor, pumping out around a third of the 
total carbon dioxide produced by the UK. The government wants to reduce 
the country's carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 and wants renewable 
energy, such as wind, waves and biomass, to play a key part.

Around 170 farmers are now diversifying into growing the energy crop to 
feed the two megawatt steam-turbine generator at the Raleigh Hall 
industrial estate, in Eccleshall, near Stafford.

The local regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), 
has also got in on the act by approving a £935,000 grant to help pay for 
the power station.

A spokesman for AWM said agricultural activities accounted for nearly 
75% of land use in the region and the plant would play a vital role in 
regenerating the rural areas and enabling farmers to diversify.

The plant would operate for 8,000 hours a year on a 24-hour basis and 
save one tonne per hour of carbon dioxide, which would otherwise have 
been emitted using fossil fuels to generate electricity.

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