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Biomass Magazine: U.K. power production from plant biomass doubled in 2012




The U.K. Department of Energy & Climate Change recently released an updated set of statistics on energy trends and prices. According to the release, the share of power generation from bioenergy in the U.K. increased by 17 percent, from 13 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2011 to 15.2 TWh in 2012. Bioenergy sources include landfill gas, sewage gas, municipal solid waste, plant biomass, animal biomass and cofiring.


The DECC data states that power generation from plant biomass more than doubled in 2012, from 1.7 TWh in 2011 to 4.2 TWh last year. The increase is attributed in part to the opening of the Tilbury power plant near the end of 2011. During the same period, cofiring fell by 39 percent, as coal-powered stations utilized smaller percentages of biomass.


“The conversion of Tilbury…shows what a big difference biomass can make, especially at a time when the Government is desperate to bring forward affordable, baseload, low carbon generation,” said Gaynor Nartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, in a statement.


The report also notes that in 2012, 37 percent of renewables generation in the U.K. came from bioenergy sources. This is the largest share. Onshore wind, offshore wind, hydropower, and solar generated a respective 29 percent, 18 percent, 13 percent and 3.2 percent of the country’s renewables generation.


According to the release, the overall renewable share of electricity generation increased by 2 percent in 2012, from 9.4 percent in 2011 to 11.3 percent in 2012. Renewable electricity production capacity also increased to 15.5 gigawatts (GW) by the close of 2012, a 26 percent increase over the 3.2 GW reported for 2011.