Waste Management & Biomass News February 2021 Compiled by 1st Choice Waste
Biomass energy and waste management may not seem the most exciting of topics, however, like 1st Choice Waste, there are many people and businesses that are passionate about the subjects and it is very newsworthy. Here is a round-up of news relating to Biomass and waste management in February 2021.
2021 Outlook – “Biomass represents a prime solution to complement the intermittency of wind and solar
Writes Jens Wolf, vice president and general manager of Europe, Enviva, for bioenergy-news.com
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how societies, businesses, and governments view the world around them. Now more than ever, we understand that we are a part of a global community, a community that must come together to address our most important challenges. Whether those challenges are related to social, health, or economic concerns, a united global community can tackle them head-on. This mindset also applies to climate change, one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Amid an unprecedented year battling a pandemic, we are still working towards reducing GHG emissions and building a better, more sustainable world. Over the last year, we’ve seen the share in demand for renewable energy rise as the demand for traditional power, driven by fossil fuels such as coal, has dropped.
For any sceptics on whether or not we are prepared to address the climate challenge, I would point them to the steps Europe and Asia have taken to implement policies to reduce GHG emissions by 2030 and decarbonise their respective economies by 2050.
Drax set to pull out of developing giant UK gas-fired power station
Green campaigners had sued Government over plan reports Jim Armitage in the Evening Standard.
Energy giant Drax is expected shortly to pull out of a controversial plan to build Europe’s biggest gas-fired power plant.
The company has had longstanding plans to turn two coal-fired units earmarked for closure at its vast Drax power station in North Yorkshire into gas generators.
The remaining four coal-powered units there have already been shifted onto burning biomass wood pellets claimed to be more environmentally sustainable.
Plans for the new gas plant met with huge criticisms from environmental groups who said it went against the spirit of Britain’s pledge to tackle climate change.
Pressure group ClientEarth last month lost a legal challenge against the government for approving the plan.
However, the 3.6GW gas plant’s development is now expected to be dropped as Drax moves into renewable-only energy, deploying carbon capture and storage on its biomass plants.
It is now expected to seek other uses for the two coal generators’ equipment and infrastructure, although it is obliged to keep it available for emergency coal generation for the National Grid up until 2022.
Drax could make an announcement on ditching the gas scheme when it announces its full-year profits on 25 February.
Drax chief executive Will Gardiner told the Evening Standard the gas power station was a “legacy” project: “We have not announced what we are going to do, but there will be more clarity in February [when our results are published].”
This week, Drax doubled down on its biomass strategy by buying a Canadian wood pellet producer for £436 million.
Drax could use its two redundant coal generating turbines to help National Grid produce what is known as “inertia” to help regulate the frequency of the nation’s electricity output at 50Hz. Boris Johnson has committed to overseeing a “green industrial revolution” and the UK has cut carbon emissions by 41% since 1990.
Britain is hosting this year’s Cop26 project.
The latest round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF) seeks to drive forward new clean technologies across all sectors of UK industry according to the UK Government lastest press release.
- £11 million government funding for UK’s energy entrepreneurs to turn ideas into clean, green technologies that eliminate carbon emissions
- previous projects include tech to anchor floating offshore wind turbines, using ash waste in glassmaking and new solar heating systems, benefiting from grants of £72 million in total since 2012
- funding supports the UK’s commitment to cut carbon emissions, level up the whole country and create new jobs as we build back better from the pandemic
Talented energy entrepreneurs have the chance to benefit from a share of £11 million government funding to turn their ideas into real products and services whilst eliminating carbon emissions.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan today (Thursday 4 February) announced the latest round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF), which seeks to drive forward new clean technologies across all sectors of UK industry, supporting the UK to eliminate its contribution to climate change by 2050.
This includes innovations that boost energy efficiency in people’s homes, reduce carbon emissions and develop green transport as well as sourcing cleaner and greener ways to generate power and heat.
The UK’s budding energy entrepreneurs are being urged to bid for the latest £11 million government funding, which will support between 15 and 20 projects, with each successful bidder receiving up to £1 million.
Successful projects could create hundreds of green jobs and kickstart millions-of-pounds-worth of private sector investment across the UK, helping the country to build back greener as we host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November.
Previous recipients of funding include CCm Technologies in Swindon that is working with Walkers Crisps to implement carbon capture innovations in its factory processes, and Leeds-based C-Capture, which has developed processes to capture harmful greenhouse gases, including an innovative deployment of its technology at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
The UK is famous for its strong entrepreneurial spirit. We want to unleash this talent to drive forward green technologies across the UK, helping the public and businesses cut their carbon footprint.
The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is backing the UK’s next generation of inventors and innovators to turn their ideas into reality, with previous successful projects already helping drive down emissions across the country and creating green jobs as we work to build back greener.
Since 2012, the government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund has awarded £72 million worth of grants, supported 156 projects and leveraged more than £500 million in private investment – a figure that is still growing.
Previous low-carbon projects that have reaped the rewards of government grants include:
- Axis Energy Projects, Aberdeen: received £217,160 to develop an efficient and low-cost method of anchoring floating offshore wind turbines to the seabed that could enable offshore wind technology to be positioned in more remote and deeper parts of the marine environment that are inaccessible to fixed turbines and contributing towards UK commitments to produce 40GW of wind power by 2030
- Energy Transitions Ltd, Cardiff: received £160,793 to develop the Steel Zero system, which combines innovative stainless steel cladding panels with solar energy technology so a building’s entire façade can produce clean and efficient heat for the spaces within
- Glass Technology Services Ltd, Sheffield: received £508,739 to lead a project with 6 partners to revolutionise glassmaking by replacing existing raw materials with ash waste from the biomass energy industry, reducing the high temperatures required in the glass production process and lowering energy requirements, costs and carbon emissions by up to 10%
- Radfan, Newcastle: received £20,250 to develop an innovative fan unit that fixes to the top of any central heating radiator and redirects the flow of warm air horizontally into the room, preventing heat from escaping, keeping people’s rooms warm and helping to lower heating bills
UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said:
I am thrilled to welcome the next stage of this excellent scheme, which is harnessing the creativity of British entrepreneurs to protect both the planet and UK industry by large and small innovations alike.
This is another great step from our government, investing in the jobs of the future and the next generation of UK business who will lead the world in eliminating emissions from industry and driving forward our green industrial revolution.
UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said:
The UK government celebrates entrepreneurship. We are committed to rewarding innovation and hard work. Entrepreneurs bring solutions to problems, such as climate change, whilst creating new jobs and supporting our economic recovery from coronavirus.
With a long history of innovation, it is no surprise Scotland is producing lots of really exciting startups – including previous Scottish recipients of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.
I encourage Scotland’s energy entrepreneurs to apply for a share of this £11 million UK government funding as we seek to build back better ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.
Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart said:
The chance to share in this funding is fantastic news for promising Welsh energy entrepreneurs. The UK government is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050. We will do so by investing in pioneering projects, people and businesses, creating green jobs and opportunities for people across Wales.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said:
Northern Ireland is a nation that embodies entrepreneurial spirit and is at the forefront of our efforts to cultivate a more environmentally sustainable future across the United Kingdom. With a share of this new £11 million investment, Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs will be able to help supercharge the United Kingdom’s ‘Green Economy’, as we continue to work towards our goal of reducing our emissions to net zero by 2050.
Northern Ireland based projects such as Senergy Innovations and Minesto have already developed cutting edge technologies to harness natural resources for energy, a testament to our extraordinary local talent. I encourage all our budding entrepreneurs to apply for this scheme to help us build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.
Tom White, CEO C-Capture, said:
Innovations in carbon capture technology are vital in helping the UK achieve its net zero target. Energy Entrepreneurs funding enabled C-Capture to further develop and deploy its technology, to demonstrate the performance and cost advantages which will be advantageous to companies seeking to decarbonise their operations.
The support we have received from the UK government has been of fundamental importance in developing a technology has the potential to capture millions of tonnes of CO2 per year.
John Blower, CEO Energy Transitions Ltd, said:
The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund acted as a catalyst that enabled us to take forward our Steel Zero solar façade from concept towards market readiness.
BEIS’ support, both through the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund grant and the associated ‘Incubation Support’, which has assisted us in a range of areas, including branding, licensing and marketing, has had a transformational effect and helped us establish a platform from which we aim to create a global clean technology business.
John Baross, managing director Axis Energy Projects, said:
Axis Energy Projects was pleased to have received a grant from the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. It allowed us to progress our low-cost anchoring method for floating offshore wind turbines not only on the UK Continental Shelf but on a global basis.
Such was our progress that we can now focus on offshore wind farms and on decarbonising existing and new offshore oil and gas production facilities. This would not have been possible without the grant award.
Christine Boyle, CEO Senergy Innovations, said:
For Senergy, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund programme brought the perfect combination of critical early-stage funding and business acceleration support. The network of academic and business experts that were brought together to support our innovation journey was key to our success.
The wealth of experience both within CLT, the programme partner companies, and the international organisations they collaborate with, was key to delivering our early commercial success. A fantastic opportunity to turn an entrepreneur’s idea into a global opportunity.
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to legally commit to ending its contribution to global warming by 2050. This commitment has been reinforced by the Prime Minister’s ten point plan and the Energy White Paper, published in 2020.
UK biomass-fired power generation rises in 2020
Biomass-fired generation in the UK and the fuel’s share of the country’s power mix rose in 2020, despite a fall in power prices and overall grid demand, reports Jamie Aldridge fo Argus Media.
Power production using biomass rose by 8.3pc last year, to 19.45TWh from 17.96TWh, data from UK utility Drax and Imperial College London show (see chart and table). Output grew despite fourth-quarter production falling by 4.3pc on the year to 5.03TWh, with December generation dropping by 7.6pc to 1.95TWh.
Power prices in the UK showed signs of a recovery in the third and fourth quarters, following the fall in demand that resulted from Covid-19 lockdown measures implemented on 23 March.
The Argus-assessed UK over-the-counter base-load day-ahead power price averaged £37.06/MWh in 2020, down by 15.5pc from £43.92/MWh in 2019. Power prices averaged £44.20/MWh in the second half of the year, up from the first-half average of £29.73/MWh.
UK power generation from all sources fell by 5.7pc on the year to 268.86TWh in 2020. And daily grid capacity fell by 5.9pc on the year to an average of 30.67GW.
Biomass-fired capacity bucked the trend, with the daily average rising by 7.7pc on the year to 2.23GW. But biomass capacity averaged 2.31GW in the fourth quarter, 4.1pc lower than a year earlier, largely because of an unplanned outage at Czech-Slovak utility EPH’s 396MW Lynemouth plant in northeast England from October.
Biomass accounted for 7.18pc of the UK power mix in 2020, up from 6.26pc in 2019. And it made up 6.81pc of the UK grid in October-December, compared with 6.77pc in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Drax’s three 645MW biomass base-load units at its plant at Selby in North Yorkshire recorded a total of 170 days offline in 2020, with a further 104 days of outages at its 645MW peak-load biomass-fired unit 4. There were 209 outage days at the three base-load units in 2019, and 83 days at its unit 4.
EPH’s Lynemouth plant continued to ramp up in 2020, with average availability at 75.06pc across the year, up from 67.38pc in 2019.
UK coal-fired generation fell to 4.37TWh in 2020, from 5.93TWh in 2019, and no coal-fired power was generated in July. The UK also recorded zero coal burn on 9 April-17 June. And in February, the phase-out of coal-fired power in Great Britain was brought forward to October 2024 from 2025.
Gas remained the largest contributor to the UK grid in 2020, despite generation falling by 17pc on the year to 94.88TWh.
Wind generation remained the second-largest contributor to the grid last year, amid a rise in installed offshore wind capacity. Wind generation reached 68.42TWh in 2020, an increase of 17.1pc on the year with its share of the UK mix rising to 24.4pc. Nuclear remained the third-largest contributor despite generation falling to 47.36TWh, from 52.68TWh in 2019.
|UK generation mix||TWh|
|Imports and exports||22.8||24.9|
|— Drax Electric Insights|
UK biomass generation TWh by Year
New report warns UK must deploy new green technologies to meet climate targets
A new report from Drax and Imperial College London has warned that the UK must deploy new green technologies to help the UK meet its climate targets, despite renewables generating more power than fossil fuels for the first time, reports bioenergy-news.com.
The independent analysis conducted by academics for Drax Electric Insights, via Imperial Consultants, shows the UK will require a range of new green technologies, which complement renewables like wind and solar, as part of its efforts to meet its national climate targets.
While power from renewables overtook fossil fuels for the first time in 2020, and carbon emissions fell by 16% year-on-year, this was in large part due to reduced demand caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, when gas and coal power stations were turned town.
Wind and solar-generated 30% of the UK’s electricity in 2020 – around half of the share required by 2025 for the UK to reach its climate targets, according to the Climate Change Committee.
The report says new green technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and hydrogen to meet the ambitious climate targets it has set itself.
Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College London and lead author of the quarterly Electric Insights report, said: “2020 saw the UK edge closer to the power system of the future with renewables generating more power than fossil fuels. Flexible technologies like pumped hydro storage kept the system stable as supply from renewables increased and demand for power fell.
“The next steps we must take towards a net-zero power system will be more challenging – driving out the last sources of fossil carbon will require us to go beyond just having more wind and solar power.
“New business models, backed by policy and investment, will be needed to bring advanced but proven technologies into the mainstream. This means that the electricity used in homes, hospitals, offices, and factories could even be carbon negative – sourced from a range of low, zero-carbon and negative emissions technologies.”
In 2020, a report by Vivid Economics found that deploying cutting-edge green technologies like BECCS and hydrogen could create and support around 200,000 jobs across the UK to support a post-COVID, green economic recovery.
Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, commented: “Drax is Europe’s largest decarbonisation project has transformed the UK’s biggest power station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, creating the country’s largest single-site renewable electricity generator while supporting thousands of jobs.
“Biomass is unique among renewable technologies due to its versatility, from being used in power generation to hydrogen production – and even new forms of plastics. Add to this its ability to deliver negative emissions with BECCS – biomass is one of our most valuable tools for reaching net-zero emissions – a technology Drax is ready to invest in.”
1st Choice Waste
1st Choice Waste Management offer a highly efficient waste management and recycling service that enables waste producers from all industrial and commercial sectors to manage their waste, including hazardous waste, difficult, and unique waste produce. Every business is different and waste production can be complex; this is why our highly efficient team work closely with you to understand each and every one of your requirements. From collection to recovery, regardless of the type or volume, we can provide you or your business with the same high standard service that is unmatchable in the North East.
We are more than just a commercial waste recycling and disposal company. As previously mentioned, 1st Choice Waste Management takes the impact of waste on the environment very seriously. That’s why we are proud to have our very own biomass boiler. Our biomass boiler converts our waste into energy and returns clean electricity to the grid. The way that we approach our waste and solutions for the way in which it is disposed of is changing. Businesses and individuals are continually searching for cleaner ways to dispose of and manage their waste. Using a biomass boiler is a highly beneficial solution as it reduces the waste that is generated and produces electricity
Ben works for the marketing team at 1st Choice Waste Management, he has a passion for marketing and helping businesses to grow.