OILPRICE explains why the conversion of municipal solid waste to energy may be the only technologies that can claim to be not only renewable and sustainable but also reliable and financially attractive.

On November 23rd we mentioned that Amsterdam was going to create the world’s first biomass exchange which would allow for global trading in wood pellets and other green energy contracts. The UK Guardian tells us the APEX-ENDEX exchange is now operating. Traditional electrical  power stations in Europe and Asia are increasingly switching to burning wood instead of coal to reduce carbon emissions and an international trade in wood pellets is developing. The Port of Rotterdam – the biggest in Europe – says it expects to be handling 2-3 million tonnes of wood annually by 2025 as imports from places such as Canada, the US and Russia increase. The APX commodity exchange believes that globally electronically traded contracts will help biomass users find supplies in a more cost-efficient and transparent way.

The Lufkin News tells us that the Aspen,Texas biomass plant is now generating power. The 57 MW plant uses 430,000 tons annually of waste products, including logging debris and  urban biomass along with sawdust, chips and barks from local wood manufacturing facilities. The electricity is sold to the Texas Grid.

The 650 MW Hemweg, Netherlands coal-fired power plant will start burning up to 15% biomass in 2013 says TheBioenergySite. The plant, in Amsterdam port, would consume about 300,000-360,000 tonnes per year of industrial wood pellets.  The pellets would come from the Baltics, Portugal and North America. The Netherlands recently introduced legislation that will make it compulsory to co-fire at least 10% biomass in all fossil-fuelled power stations.

Biomass Power & Thermal reports that a biomass power plant is under construction in Delfzijl, Netherlands. The 50 MW plants is planned to commence operations in 2013. It will convert 300,000 tonnes of recycled wood waste to produce electricity for Eneco, a Dutch energy supplier that also operates wind and solar facilities throughout Western Europe. The biomass feedstock will be brought in by rail, truck and by sea.

Fleetwood in Lancashire, England will have a waste to energy facility writes edieWaste. The plant will generate up to 10 MW of electricity using around 80,000 tonnes of recovered commercial waste material. The heat will be supplied to local commercial or industrial operations. The combined recovered energy output of the plant is sufficient to meet the needs of up to 12,000 homes. The plant should be completed by the end of 2013.

A firm in West Yorkshire, England is powering its new plant from the community’s waste, says the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express. Groups Rhodes, in conjunction with Shanks Waste Management, has entered into an agreement with Wakefield council to take 180,000 tonnes a year of residential waste and will convert it into electricity to run Group Rhodes new plant and sell any excess power to the National Grid. Group Rhodes specializes in making machines to create car parts for manufacturers such as Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Jaguar and Honda, and also makes machines to create parts for military and commercial aircraft.  By taking all of the waste, this means that no more residential waste will go to landfill.

The city of Duncan, British Columbia, has a used cooking oil drop-off bin that allows residents and restaurants to dispose of their used cooking oil instead of dumping it down a sink or putting it in the garbage reports the HQCowachanValley. Cowichan Energy Alternatives picks it up and converts the oil into biodiesel at its solid waste management facility. Some 170 co-op members around the Cowichan Valley use the biodiesel in different kinds of vehicles. See also the Globe and Mail, Charting the path from stovetop to fuel tank.

The Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL), owned by the Government of Bangladesh, will set up 1.5 million biogas plants by 2016 to supply clean cooking fuel in rural area says TheBioenergySite. The plants will use cow dung and chicken excrement to produce energy. A typical biogas plant requires 30 kg of cow dung a day. Some 20,000 plants are already operating. The biogas substitutes for more expensive kerosene, wood and straw for cooking. The biogas residue can also be used as organic fertilizer, as it is a high category manure and good for cultivable lands and fish-growing ponds. A single plant can produce around six tonnes of organic fertilizer in a year.

NWTNToday tells us that the city of Martin, Tennessee is converting its biomass into electricity. Within three years the city expects to have a plant that will convert brush and woody debris into electricity. The electricity would be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority. The city will receive a percentage of the profits from the sale of the electricity.

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