Air Products has announced that it will build and operate the world’s largest renewable energy plant in Teesside.
The Tees Valley plant will be located at the New Energy and Technology Business Park near Billingham and will be the first of its kind in the UK, and the largest of its kind anywhere in the world with an approximate capacity of 50MW.
A new demonstration biomass plant is being built at Wilton following a £100,000 investment. Biomass CHP’s wood-chip gasification process has won fresh investment from Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, which is managed by Northstar Ventures, to develop the technology.
Biomass CHP’s wood-chip gasification process produces renewable heat and energy without generating liquid effluent which would otherwise need to be disposed of and treated. Disposal issues are one of a number of reasons why gasification of biomass has not yet been widely exploited.
Potential customers will be able to see first-hand how the process works by utilising the demonstration plant. Interest is likely to come from factories, industrial parks, leisure centres and schools who are not only seeking to control energy costs, but also reduce their carbon footprint. Biomass CHP is targeting its process at a wide variety of customers in both the public and private sectors.
Communities Minister Andrew Stunell will today urge the North East to take advantage of extra powers being handed over by Westminster to become a global hub for green technologies.
Mr Stunell, who is addressing the North East Economic Forum (NEEF) later today, believes that the region is well placed under the coalition government to establish a more diverse economy for growth, particularly in the burgeoning green industries, and move away from its historical reliance upon public sector jobs.
Stunell will draw upon the example provided by Nissan, which is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in the production of a European battery plant and the Leaf electric car at its Sunderland base.
Over 70 energy infrastructure projects could be at risk as a result of proposed Government changes to Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC’s) banding.
This is a claim made by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) which last week saw, the end of the consultation on this. The REA claim that the changes to the banding have been made too quickly, causing uncertainty for investors. The combined total as regards energy output from the projects at risk, totals over 800Mw with a capital value of £3.6bn.
The REA also claim that the changes could put jobs at risk including 3000 operating jobs, 14,500 construction jobs and 6500 jobs in transport, admin and manufacturing.
The proposals from DECC would see the current standard and advanced ACT (Advanced Conversion Technologies) bands replaced. From 2013, ACT projects using internal combustion engines would fall into a combined advanced gasification and pyrolysis band and receive 2 ROC’s per MWh, falling to 1.8MWh by 2017. The standard ACT band would have its support reduced to from 1 ROC/MWh to 0.5 in 2013.
DECC have stated that the proposals would generate 70 – 75TWh of renewable electricity in theUKby 2017 which equates to 70% of theUK’s 2020 renewable energy target.
The REA have also voiced opposition to the proposed banding level for energy from waste (EfW) projects with combined heat and power (CHP). It said that proposals to cut support from 1 to 0.5 ROC’s/MWh were based on flawed data which will impact on the deployment of these technologies.