Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another Paper Mill / Biomass Energy Plant

Paper/Pulp mills and biomass energy go together like hand and globe. Here is news of yet another substantial biomass energy plant going into a paper making operation.
RWE npower Cogen announces it plans to build a 45MW biomass power plant at a papermaking site in Glenrothes, Scotland. Using combined heat and power (CHP) systems, the £100 million (€126m/$200m) plant will save 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the Tullis Russell papermill. It will provide steam and electricity for the papermill under a long-term contract, while two thirds of the generated electricity will be fed into the Scottish power grid. That would be enough to power a city the size of Dundee, Scotland's fourth largest city with 150,000 inhabitants.

The new facility will replace Tullis Russell's existing coal-fired plant, which is to close because it no longer meets acceptable emissions standards set by SEPA. It will help the company avoid massive fluctuations in gas costs too, which have varied from £6,000 a day to as much as £50,000 a day - costs that have threatened the company's viability. Wood for the plant at the Markinch industrial estate is being provided by ScottishBiopower and Scottish Coal.
We are still in the early stages of the "modern bioenergy age". Humans have relied on bioenergy for most of their existence, and only recently have learned to tap into more dense power sources. The modern bioenergy age completes the circle. It is about learning how to take a less dense form of energy--biomass--and turn it into a useful, medium energy density commodity to produce reasonably priced, clean, abundant energy.

Al Fin has always promoted the local and regional aspects of bioenergy, and the empowering effect bioenergy can have on small and medium sized business. Perhaps that is why big business and big media has been so slow to pick up on the potential of bioenergy. The empowerment of individuals and small businesses can be threatening to big business and media somehow.

Modern humans are oriented toward the "big fix" or the "big score." They seem to want one solution to all problems. It is the result of "sound bite" logic. One fix for all problems (depopulation, reduced energy use, etc.) One cause for all problems (Bush, global warming, etc). The world reduced to a few words. A dumbed down world view for a psychologically neotenised, academically lobotomised, dumbed down populace.

That is why it is so important to focus on the islands of competence and efficacy in the world. You can find them if you try.



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