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Categories > Biomass News

Drax Power Station is switching to the biomass-fired production

Power Station is switching to the

The United Kingdom remains devoted to the idea of its energy system transformation. According to the Europe Union common energy policy, the UK is reducing the use of coal in order to produce electricity using the renewable power sources.

Drax Power station replaces the coal with the wood pellets

In this context, the largest power plant in the country – Drax Power Station – is converting its units, what will make it possible to redirects its electricity production from coal-fired to biomass-based one. Nowadays this power plant is generating approximately 8 per cent of the country's general electricity production.

This number is significant, that is why the power production should be modified. Drax Power Station is cutting down the use of coal and involving biomass to generate electricity at present. It will give an impressive result in the nearest future: approximately 12 tonnes of carbon is considered to be saved per year.

This will come to life on condition that every Drax's unit is converted. Nowadays there are two of six which are fully converted and the third one remains coal- and biomass-fired at the same time.

Coal-fired power production is coming to the end

It is not surprisingly, that the coal-based energy production is gradually declining. During the past several years, a price for coal has decreased significantly. Moreover, the price for this fuel tends to fall even more. That is why coal industry is losing its former profitability.

In this case, Drax Group operations director Peter Emery is convinced that that coal industry will have been completely closed down by 2020. That is why the biomass is necessary to keep Drax Power Station on track.

Originally, the biomass industry was of local nature. The main goal of such enterprises was to provide the households with wood pellets for the local heating. However, it has expanded significantly since the developed economies decided to replace the coal with another, more sustainable, energy source.

The biomass industry is growing

The figures are quite eloquent. During the period between July and September 2015 the general output of coal-fired power station all over the United Kingdom decreased by 54 per cent. At the same time, share of the renewable energy sources equated 20 per cent of the general power production. As it comes to the biomass, it is expected to be supplied in an amount of 2.2 million tonnes in 2015.

Another reason for the biomass utilization is its environmental friendliness, according to the electricity producers. The use of wood pellets will give an opportunity to reduce the greenhouse gas release by almost 86 per cent. Though it does not mean that the biomass combustion does not provide carbon dioxide release, nevertheless this figure is far lesser.

The wood pellets, used by Drax Power Station, are imported from the USA. The United Kingdom does not possess an appropriate amount of woods to conduct its own sawmill industry. The USA is, on the contrary a large country, which has plenty of sources for the forestry.

Does the biomass industry bring any harm to the environment?

However, some scientist are not that optimistic. According to the Climate Central investigation, the use of burning wood in the electricity provision is heating the atmosphere much more, than the coal usage does.

The figures, announced by this organization, reveal that the level of carbon dioxide release is 15-20 per cent higher, than the same rate for the coal. This statement contradicts with enthusiastic reviews made by electricity producers.

Beyond that, the rapidly growing biomass industry is destroying American environment, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The main argument is that deforestation is conducted in those parts of the USA, where the most fragile ecosystems are located.

Nevertheless, the company, which provides the United Kingdom with wood pellets assures, that there is no harm for environment in the USA. Moreover, there are twice as many trees in the south of the country now than there were in 1953, for instance. Anyway, demand for biomass produced in America is constantly growing.

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Drax Power Station is switching to the biomass-fired production

  

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Views: 1081 Added: 02-11-2015