[permaculture] Biomass Power Stations in UK
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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