Circular Economy Case Studies

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Fuelling the supply of renewable energy

wood-fired biomass

Wood biomass is a renewable fuel that can generate heat and electricity at the same time as reducing environmental impact.

Around the world, we manage hundreds of wood-fired biomass energy plants that supply electricity (power stations) or heat (steam, hot water) or both from Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants.

This renewable energy can either be used to power a specific site or it can be supplied back to the National Grid. There is also the added benefit of using the excess heat for a district heating network or an industrial facility, contributing to cutting carbon emissions and meeting climate-change targets.

Each year in the UK, we turn some 230,000 tonnes of discarded wood (in the form of chips or pellets) into renewable energy.

This generates enough electricity to supply approximately 66,000 homes through the National Grid, and supplies heat to district heating schemes that serve another 3,300.

  Most industrial sites use a process that has a requirement for heat. Biomass CHP can be an option for these facilities with high steam and electrical loads.
As well as using this biomass resource to generate energy, we also manage and distribute up to 75,000 tonnes of waste wood each year to support the provision of renewable fuel for communities, schools and local authorities. In collaboration with industry, this wood is transformed into construction products such as chipboard and fibre board.

According to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) using sustainable biomass as a source of energy could reduce the cost of meeting the UK's 2050 carbon targets; it could also help to make low carbon energy more affordable for consumers and businesses.