UK-based renewable utility Ecotricity claimed virtually all domestic heating in the country could be supplied via grass-based biomethane, pumping £7.5bn (€8.7bn) per year into the rural economy. The company is developing its own grass-to-biomethane plants. It ambitious plan says 5,000 such plants, each of 5MW capacity, could meet the UK’s needs.
The UK government excluded biomass conversion from its next round of UK renewable electricity price support. The UK’s second round of Contract for Difference (CfD) auctions will begin in financial year 2021-22. Part of the £290m (€324m) funding will include support for dedicated biomass with CHP, anaerobic digestion and advanced conversion technologies such as gasification and pyrolysis.
Swedish utility Göteborg Energi revealed cooperation with French utility company Engie to develop biomass gasification technology. The aim is to replace some of the 500TWh of natural gas used in France every year with biogas, according to Göteborg Energi, which developed Europe’s first large-scale biogas production facility based on biomass gasification known as GoBiGas.
Construction firm Interserve was removed as main contractor on the Glasgow EfW project. Interserve was awarded the contract, worth about £146m (€168m) in 2012 by waste management firm Viridor. The EfW plant, known as the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy project, is one of a handful of EfW contracts Interserve is still involved in after announcing plans to exit the sector. Interserve said it was taking legal advice.
UK-based Viridor committed to building its twelfth EfW plant after confirming it will go ahead with a facility located in Avonmouth, near Bristol. Construction will start next year and the plant will open in 2020. It is described as a “flagship” facility and will take up to 320,000 tonnes of waste annually and have a capacity of 33MWe.
Viridor and technology supplier Babcock and Wilcox Vølund (BWV) revealed that construction had reached the midway point at the Dunbar EfW plant. The facility is costing £177m (€208.8m) to develop. When operational next year, it will process up to 300,000 tonnes of waste annually and have output capacities of 30MWe and 10MWth.
NGOs sent an open letter to Denmark-based investment fund PKA urging it to reconsider its 50% equity investment in MGT Power’s 299MWe capacity Teesside plant. The woodchip-fired plant, known as Tees Renewable Energy Plant, is being built by Spain’s Técnicas Reunidas and South Korea’s Samsung Construction and Trading.
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