Biomass Energy Centre

Opportunities for land managers to enter
      the bioenergy supply chain

     West Midlands Bioen...
Aim of the presentation

• Give an overview of biomass fuel types
• Describe the basics of the biomass
  market
• Brief de...
Biomass as a fuel
• Logs and wood chips
  from woodlands
• Miscanthus and SRC
• Sawdust and off cuts
  from wood processin...
How is biomass being used?
• Most common application is heat production
  using woodchips, logs or pellets
• Typical scale...
Forestry Commission’s Strategy
• 2 million tonnes of
  woodfuel from
  privately owned,
  undermanged
  woodland
• Equival...
How can I supply this market?

•   Use thinnings, poor quality trees
•   Allow to dry ‘in the round’
•   Chip using a wood...
Drying round wood prior to chipping
Producing good quality chips
• Use a woodfuel grade
  chipper - inconsistent
  chip size can block
  augers
• Moisture con...
Is woodchip competitive with
             other fuels?
• Market price varies considerably £50 - £90 per
  tonne delivered ...
cost per tonne
 sy
   st




            0
                20
                     40
                          60
       ...
Adding value - selling heat

• ‘Energy Supply Company’
  (ESCo)
• Attractive to end users -
  they do not have to worry
  ...
Capital cost
• Biomass systems often much more expensive than
  fossil fuel counterparts
• DECC ‘bioenergy capital grant’
...
Energy Crops
• Generally refers to willow short rotation
  coppice and Miscanthus
• Energy Crop Scheme grant available via...
Short Rotation Coppice
• Plant spring year 1
• Cutback winter year
  1-2
• Harvest every 3
  years
• Yields 8 odt per ha
 ...
Miscanthus
• Plant spring year 1
• 1st harvest winter year
  2 -3
• Annual harvest there
  after (usually baled)
• Yields ...
Anaerobic digestion

• Uses animal slurries, food waste, sewage
  sludge, maize or grass silage to generate
  ‘Biogas’ (me...
In conclusion

• Biomass is an established fuel and is here
  to stay
• Can be economically viable
• Matching fuel quality...
Sources of information
• Biomass Energy Centre
  www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk
• Forestry Commission
  www.forestry.gov.u...
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Ian Tubby Bioenergy Supply Chain

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2008 West Midlands Bioenergy Conference
Harper Adams University College

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Ian Tubby Bioenergy Supply Chain

  1. 1. Biomass Energy Centre Opportunities for land managers to enter the bioenergy supply chain West Midlands Bioenergy Conference December 2008
  2. 2. Aim of the presentation • Give an overview of biomass fuel types • Describe the basics of the biomass market • Brief description of perennial energy Crops • Brief description of anaerobic digestion • Give details of where to get further information
  3. 3. Biomass as a fuel • Logs and wood chips from woodlands • Miscanthus and SRC • Sawdust and off cuts from wood processing • Dry agricultural residues - straw • Food wastes, slurries • Oil seed crops and cereals for liquid biofuel production
  4. 4. How is biomass being used? • Most common application is heat production using woodchips, logs or pellets • Typical scale is between 100 - 1000kW (around 2000 installations at present) • Generally a single boiler in a single building • Growing interest and application of ‘district heating’ systems • Industrial scale co-firing and ‘biomass only’ power generation (~6 biomass only power stations in operation, ~12 planned)
  5. 5. Forestry Commission’s Strategy • 2 million tonnes of woodfuel from privately owned, undermanged woodland • Equivalent to 250,000 homes worth of energy
  6. 6. How can I supply this market? • Use thinnings, poor quality trees • Allow to dry ‘in the round’ • Chip using a woodfuel grade chipper • Keep chips dry - make sure they match boiler specification and follow industry standards
  7. 7. Drying round wood prior to chipping
  8. 8. Producing good quality chips • Use a woodfuel grade chipper - inconsistent chip size can block augers • Moisture content is critical • CEN standards developed for use across Europe • Chippers are expensive - consider hiring in unless you have large quantities to process
  9. 9. Is woodchip competitive with other fuels? • Market price varies considerably £50 - £90 per tonne delivered typical • Price of oil ~4.0p per kWh (@ 40p per litre) • Gas price currently around ~ 4.0p per kWh • 1 tonne of 30% MC woodchips contains 3500 kWh of energy • Paying anything less than £120 per tonne of chips is competitive with oil and gas at today’s prices
  10. 10. cost per tonne sy st 0 20 40 60 80 100 em 1 sy st em 2 sy st em 3 sy st em 4 sy st em 5 sy st em 6 sy st em 7 sy st em 8 sy st em 9 sy st em 10 sy Variations in the cost of producing woodchips st em 11 sy st Wood chip production costs em 12
  11. 11. Adding value - selling heat • ‘Energy Supply Company’ (ESCo) • Attractive to end users - they do not have to worry about sourcing fuel • User billed according to kWh of heat used - recorded by a ‘heat meter’ • Watch out for ‘heat incentive’ - being developed now.
  12. 12. Capital cost • Biomass systems often much more expensive than fossil fuel counterparts • DECC ‘bioenergy capital grant’ • Aimed at ‘industrial and community sectors that are considering investing in biomass-fuelled heat and/or combined heat and power projects, including anaerobic digestion’ • Covers ‘up to 40% of the difference in the cost of installing biomass…..compared to fossil fuel alternative’. Max single award £500k • www.bioenergycapitalgrants.org.uk
  13. 13. Energy Crops • Generally refers to willow short rotation coppice and Miscanthus • Energy Crop Scheme grant available via Natural England - 40% of establishment cost • Generally associated with larger scale power plants (E.ON at Lockerbie, SembCorp in the North East, Eccleshall West Mids) or co-firing • Some examples of small scale heat in the region (Lionel Hill) • Economics investigated by NNFCC
  14. 14. Short Rotation Coppice • Plant spring year 1 • Cutback winter year 1-2 • Harvest every 3 years • Yields 8 odt per ha per year • Needs specialised harvester and planter
  15. 15. Miscanthus • Plant spring year 1 • 1st harvest winter year 2 -3 • Annual harvest there after (usually baled) • Yields ~ 10 odt ha yr from year 3 • Similar to a conventional agricultural crop • Eccleshall in W. Midlands
  16. 16. Anaerobic digestion • Uses animal slurries, food waste, sewage sludge, maize or grass silage to generate ‘Biogas’ (methane and carbon dioxide) • Gas powers combustion engine, end products are power and heat • Could earn tradeable ‘renewable energy certificates’ • Digestate could be used as a soil conditioner - properties dependant on feedstock
  17. 17. In conclusion • Biomass is an established fuel and is here to stay • Can be economically viable • Matching fuel quality to the end market is paramount • Can use existing resources or dedicated crops
  18. 18. Sources of information • Biomass Energy Centre www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk • Forestry Commission www.forestry.gov.uk/england-woodfuel • Heartwoods www.heartwoods.co.uk • Marches wood energy network www.mwen.org.uk • Bioenergy West Midlands www.bioenergywm.co.uk • West midlands woodland & forestry forum www.growingourfuture.org • National Non Food Crop Centre www.nnfcc.co.uk

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