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    Mongabay, a leading resource for news and perspectives on environmental and conservation issues related to the tropics, has launched Tropical Conservation Science - a new, open access academic e-journal. It will cover a wide variety of scientific and social studies on tropical ecosystems, their biodiversity and the threats posed to them. Tropical Conservation Science - March 8, 2008.

    At the 148th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the oil exporting cartel decided to leave its production level unchanged, sending crude prices spiralling to new records (above $104). OPEC "observed that the market is well-supplied, with current commercial oil stocks standing above their five-year average. The Conference further noted, with concern, that the current price environment does not reflect market fundamentals, as crude oil prices are being strongly influenced by the weakness in the US dollar, rising inflation and significant flow of funds into the commodities market." OPEC - March 5, 2008.

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Huge growth of biomass sector in the UK

The United Kingdom is one of the worst performers in the EU when it comes to increasing its share of renewables in the energy mix. However, the country is rapidly speeding up its investments in clean energy, with biomass spanning the crown.

The UK now has a dedicated biomass capacity larger than 1400MW operational and in the pipeline. The interest in biomass has grown strongly because of its inherent advantages over intermittent sources and its cost-effectiveness.

Farmers Weekly Interactive has an interesting overview of recent developments in the sector in the UK.

Biomass fuels in Britain are both produced locally as well as imported. Many of the large power plants are located in coastal areas, facilitating (long distance) imports. Fuels include both waste biomass (wood from industry, green waste) as well as fuels made from dedicated energy crops, such as miscanthus or short rotation willow. Imports include wood chips and pellets from Scandinavia and Canada.

Besides large power plants, the number of smaller, dedicated co-generation plants that yield both power and heat in a highly efficient manner is on the rise.

Picture: dedicated energy crops, like Miscanthus x giganteus, are increasingly used as a fuel for power generation in the UK. Credit: Farmers Weekly Interactive.
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Anonymous Mahmoud said...

This is certainly encouraging, UK should step up to the plate and diversify its energy mix.

6:39 AM  

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