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More biomass power plants approved in England

22 August 2011

Three new biomass plant proposals in England have gained planning consent in recent weeks as the push to obtain more than 30% of the electricity we use from renewable sources by 2020 continues.

Two larger plants of nearly 300MW output each that will be capable of providing enough electricity to meet the total power needs of over one million homes were given the green light by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in early August while a smaller 25MW plant, similar in many ways to Peel Energy’s Davyhulme biomass plant proposal, will be built at Ridham Dock in Kent.

Giving the go-ahead to the two larger biomass plants that are being proposed by Drax Power in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “It is vital that we get investment in new power stations up and down the country to ensure secure energy supplies for people’s homes and businesses.”

Mr Hendry continued: “They will not only enhance our security of supply, but provide low-carbon electricity that reduces our carbon dioxide emissions.”

The announcement of the new biomass-fired power plants comes hard on the heels of a previous government commitment to extend the amount of electricity generated from biomass and other renewable technologies. The Renewables Road Map, published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in July, commits the UK to expanding renewable energy generation from eight key technologies, including biomass.

Peel Energy’s Jon England said: “The government’s policy is to ramp up electricity generation from renewable sources including biomass so that we rely less on increasingly price sensitive fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

“We welcome the news of three new biomass plants elsewhere as it clearly demonstrates that our own Barton Renewable Energy Plant proposal is entirely in line with the government’s plans to keep the lights on in the future.”

The Electricity Reform White Paper published on 12 July 2011 by the Department for Energy and Climate Change sets out key measures to attract investment, reduce the impact on consumer bills, and create a secure mix of electricity sources including gas, new nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage.

The Renewables Roadmap, published alongside the White Paper, outlines a plan to accelerate renewable energy deployment – including biomass from waste wood sources – to meet the target that 15% of all energy should come from renewable sources by 2020.