E. ON, one of the U.K.'s largest generators of electricity, is set to begin operations at its Lockerbie biomass station by the end of the year after an initial trial period. Company officials hope that it will be able to generate enough electricity to power 70,000 homes, provide over 300 new jobs in the forestry and energy farming sector and reduce yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 140,000 tons once it is fully functional.
The company, which already manages three coal and biomass fired power stations in the country, again plans on using cereal pellets, olive cakes and wood. Michael Russell, Scotland's Minister for the Environment, praised the new facility during a speech unveiling the formation of a task force aimed at increasing the supply of wood used for renewable energy:
"The E.ON biomass plant in Lockerbie is certainly very impressive. When it is operational it will generate enough green power to meet the needs of 70,000 homes and displace the emission of 140,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, a significant contribution towards renewable energy targets.
It is clear that the demand for wood as a raw material is increasing in Scotland. This is due to more forward looking businesses and organisations opting for wood as a fuel for renewable energy. This is good news but we need to work harder to ensure that the correct supplies are available to meet the upsurge in demand.
The new Scottish Government is committed to supporting the woodfuel industry and we want to do this by working in partnership with the industry. This new task force signals a fresh drive to develop the woodfuel sector and maximise the opportunities."
Led by Forestry Commission Scotland, the task force will consider ways to boost the use of resources from less desirable sites such as forest residues, short rotation coppies and under-managed woodlands. It will also examine the pros and cons of switching over to wood-fired systems as a long-term energy strategy.
See also: ::A New Twist on Using Wood for Fuel, ::Using Woody Biomass To Extract Hydrogen From Water & Carbon From The Atmosphere, ::SunOpta To Build Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Based On Wood Chip Feedstock, ::Convert Biomass into Syngas Fast: No Extra Carbon Needed