Jump to content

Wood fired power station - UK 14-15mw


Recommended Posts

I had the good fortune to visit this place last week, a day after it was brought on-line and the smell on site of freshly cut wood was totally amazing.

 

This is the first of it's kind in the UK

 

 

http://www.eco2.uk.com/index.php?option=co...6&Itemid=37

 

Apparently it consumes 10% of the total timber production of Wales. and it looks like these are the folks who are supplying the timber - http://www.westernloggroup.com/default.aspx

 

Heres what the local media reports - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/south-wa...91466-22335808/

 

 

Is this a viable way forward to contribute to the UK's energy requirements for the future? Or will these just end up burning refuse?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect your your later statement ........................

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7060607.stm

 

If you read between the lines more waste is being produced than can be got rid of. A proportion of the waste we produce can be converted into energy ...... of which the UK has reportedly a very possible shortfall to demand. I doubt the UK government are intelligent enough to come to any other solution.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this a viable way forward to contribute to the UK's energy requirements for the future? Or will these just end up burning refuse?

 

Hard to say without getting down to details. Sustainability and carbon effect will depend on various factors.

 

We have very little forest in the UK to support a lot national grid stations that rely on standard forestry industry waste.

 

Loads of stuff on fast growing biomass, waste to energy, nationalised/localised sourcing, generation and delivery around on web.

 

Can't find mention of it on the C.A.T. website - which seems odd - so have emailed them about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't find mention of it on the C.A.T. website - which seems odd - so have emailed them about it.

 

I wouldn't have thought that is "odd" please keep in mind it only come on-line within the last week. so I should imagine there could be a "Lag" issue regarding updating the website.

 

I was also asking questions during my visit as to who owns the Power Station, and was told that it is a "Private consortium" who has provided the funding.

 

Obviously this left me with a craving for further information.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't have thought that is "odd" please keep in mind it only come on-line within the last week. so I should imagine there could be a "Lag" issue regarding updating the website.

 

I was also asking questions during my visit as to who owns the Power Station, and was told that it is a "Private consortium" who has provided the funding.

 

Obviously this left me with a craving for further information.

 

True, it's only just come online - but there must have been news of it a fair while back. I didn't mean 'odd' to have any strong/hidden meaning - just figured CAT would be up-to-date on such a development in their locality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

The short answer is "no". Wood burning of harvested wood will not make a significant contribution to electricity production. When I worked for ABB I recall we carried out a calculation on how much land would be required to serve a very small power plant - 40MW comes to mind, and it was square miles. It's the biofuel conundrum - you can't grow that much energy, in relation to what we use as a society in our current lifestyles.

 

A coal fired power plant like Drax or Eggborough in the Midlands gets through a staggering quantity of coal in a year. Drax will burn around 5 million tonnes of coal a year, or nearly 14,000 tonnes per day. The energy in coal is much denser than in wood. Taking a guess, I'd say for Drax to operate on wood would require 10 million tonnes of timber. What is the national production of timber in the UK? A brief googling did not answer that question although it did yield a production figure for high quality plantation of 5 tonnes per hectare per year. So taking that, we get 2 million hectares of woodland required to feed Drax (obviously managing and harvesting such an extent would itself require labour and energy). Such an area is 20,000 km2 or about 8,000mi2, which slightly exceeds all the existing woodland in the United Kingdom.

 

Drax supplies about 7% of the UK electric demand.....

 

Do you see the picture?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The root cause of the Industrial Revolution was a shortage of wood in England.

 

There simply is not enough land for wood to be a major source of fuel.

 

I live in Finland which is about 150% of the area of the UK and 76% of it is forest (so the forested area is at least as big as the UK).

 

Firewood is an important source of heating fuel in detached houses especially in the countryside.

 

Electricity generation is a mix of nuclear, hydro, 1 or 2 powered by peat and imports from neighbouring countries. A 5th nuclear reactor is in construction and a 6th is planned.

 

I've never heard any suggestions that fresh forest wood be used for large power plants. There's not enough wood for sustainable use in the quantities required. And the population is only 5.2 million.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The short answer is "no". .............................

 

Drax supplies about 7% of the UK electric demand.....

 

Do you see the picture?

 

At the moment I’m not to sure.

 

I caught this over the xmas break, and just found it on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmnlnT9qltw

 

I personally am not a believer in carbon capture and storage, although I do admit I'm not overly familiar of the full process.

 

Coming back to the "wood power" I'm starting to think that these will just end up burning biomass, I also thought that this was quite an interesting article http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...uk&refer=uk

 

Maybe we'll end up with lots and lots of little power stations doted around the country.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the moment I’m not to sure.

 

I caught this over the xmas break, and just found it on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmnlnT9qltw

 

I personally am not a believer in carbon capture and storage, although I do admit I'm not overly familiar of the full process.

 

Coming back to the "wood power" I'm starting to think that these will just end up burning biomass, I also thought that this was quite an interesting article http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...uk&refer=uk

 

Maybe we'll end up with lots and lots of little power stations doted around the country.

The bloomberg article does not say where these plants will get their biomass from - my guess is it will be a mixture of waste wood otherwise destined for landfill, cropped biomass all topped off with fossil fuels. The problem is that you can't burn biomass in a diesel or gas turbine engine. That leaves steam plant, and the trouble there is that steam plant smaller than about 300MW are not very efficient. Admittedly this may not be too much of a problem if district heating is involved - but the investment required there would generally be very high. District heating worked in the Soviet Union because the people had to live where the state put them, and the state insisted on stuffing them into batteries that were readily served by district heating from the local power plant. Sprawling suburbia in Britain might not be quite so easy.

 

I suppose the best one can say is that biomass will make a small contribution, just like wind, hydro and solar, and tidal will make a sizeable contribution in time, and we will get used to making do with less and certainly wasting less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...