This guide has been commissioned by Advantage West Midlands and developed with the support of members of the Bioenergy West Midlands Steering Group. The publication of the guide has been part funded by Intelligent Energy Europe. The broad vision of “Bioenergy West Midlands” is to promote interest and activity in, and markets for, bioenergy in the West Midlands. The initiative: •
Helps to bring together bioenergy producers, processors, end users, consultants, manufacturers and local authorities across the region.
• Provides stakeholders with information on funding • Provides a unified voice to policy makers • Facilitates networking opportunities • Co-ordinates conferences, seminars, knowledge forums and practical demonstration events Further information regarding BioenergyWM can be found at: www.bioenergywm.co.uk MEA Marches Energy Agency is an independent charity with 13 years experience in the field of addressing climate change and energy use. We work with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, from community organisations to co-ordinating EU-wide projects. Harper Adams
Marches Energy Agency Registered in England and Wales at The Pump House, Coton Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 2DP, Registered Charity number 1070942 Company Limited by Guarantee number 3443349, VAT number 709 8289 00 W: www.mea.org.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01743 246007 Editor: Richard Hammerton, MEA Design: Adam Constantine Design (www.adamconstantine.co.uk) Printed on 100% recycled & chlorine free paper using vegetable based inks. This guide is recyclable and biodegradeable.
Introduction Bioenergy, broadly defined, is renewable energy which is produced by using biological source material. Bioenergy technologies have a key role to play in the development of a sustainable and secure energy network for the UK. One of the biggest barriers to the widespread use of bioenergy in the UK is simply that many people are not aware of what bioenergy is, and the benefits it can offer. The purpose of this guide is to raise awareness of bioenergy by providing a balanced overview of the available technologies, with a focus on the two main types of bioenergy system suitable for generating electricity and heat; biomass combustion and anaerobic digestion. The guide begins by setting bioenergy production in context with a summary of two global issues which give extra importance to all renewable technologies, namely climate change and peak oil. The core of the guide is an accessible introduction to biomass and anaerobic digestion, describing how each technology works and the outputs that are produced. This booklet includes case studies of the various technologies, information on costs and grants, and contact details for suppliers and sources of further information. Whether you are considering the installation of a bioenergy system, looking for more information about a project that is being proposed in your area, or simply interested in renewable technology, this guide has the information you need.
Contents 02 Climate Change 04 Bioenergy and Climate Change 05 Bioenergy and Fuel Security 06 CO2 Emissions & the Lifecycle of Plants 07 The Global Carbon Cycle 08 Energy from Biomass 09 Domestic Biomass 10 Domestic Biomass Case Study 11 Commercial Biomass 13 Commercial Biomass Case Study 14 Large Scale Biomass 16 Large Scale Biomass Case Study 17 Biomass FAQs 20 Bioenergy from Anaerobic Digestion 22 Commercial AD Case Study 24 On Farm AD 27 On Farm AD Case Study 29 Biogas FAQs 30 Contacts/Further Information
Climate Change There is no longer any serious temperatures are rising globally, weather events are becoming things are happening is that for adding greenhouse gases to the greenhouse gases are carbon
doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing; ice caps and glaciers are receding and freak alarmingly frequent. The main reason that these the last 250 years human activities have been atmosphere. The most significant man-made dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).
Although the volume of methane emissions is much less than that of CO2 methane is twenty-one times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2. Agriculture is the greatest producer of man-made methane emissions, with livestock (and particularly cows) being a well known source. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and in doing so they make the surface of the Earth warmer than it would be otherwise; this is what is termed the ‘greenhouse effect’. The greenhouse effect is a natural property of the atmosphere;
“Fossil fuel power stations produce 22% of man-made greenhouse gas” without it the average surface temperature would be -15 degrees centigrade. The greenhouse effect is a cause for concern because the strength of the effect is determined by the concentration of the greenhouse gases; as human activities add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere more heat is trapped and the global temperature increases. A warmer climate might not sound particularly alarming, but the potential consequences of climate change are extremely serious; it won’t just get warmer; climate change will destabilise the world’s weather. A billion people could be made homeless by rising sea levels, while crop failures and species extinction may leave another billion facing starvation. Here in the UK we will not escape from the effects of worldwide civil and economic disruption, and we also are likely to see more extreme weather, from flooding to tornadoes, and an influx of crop pests and animal diseases. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are 30% higher today than they were before the Industrial Revolution, and this increase is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Power stations using fossil fuels to generate electricity are the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the world today. If we are to successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit how much more climate change occurs, a vital step is to switch to ways of generating electricity and heat which do not depend on fossil fuels.
Human activities produce more carbon dioxide than all the other greenhouse gases combined; it accounts for 72% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions and consequently is a particular cause for concern – this is why it receives so much attention with governments signing international agreements on reducing CO2 emissions and concepts such as the ‘carbon footprint’ becoming familiar to most people. CO2 emissions are predominantly linked to fossil fuel use; power generation, industry and transportation fuels being the three greatest sources.
biofuel guide bioenergy biofuel guide
Bioenergy and Climate Change
Bioenergy and fuel security
The urgent need to avert further climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires a major change in the way that we produce and use energy. As we switch from fossil fuel based energy generation it is likely that in place of the big power stations we will see the emergence of a decentralised mosaic of various renewable energy technologies, such as wind power, solar panels for heat and electricity, wave power, hydroelectricity, geothermal heating, and bio-energy.
The environmental benefits of bioenergy make a strong case for its use, but in addition to this it has a key role in ensuring a secure domestic energy supply for the future. In 2005 gas and oil provided more than 70% of the UK’s primary energy, but North Sea oil and gas reserves are fast running out, with a decline in production of 75% predicted by 2021. The UK is on the verge of becoming a net energy importer. At any time this would be a cause for concern as it will reduce the security of our domestic energy supply, but it is even more important at present due to the issue of peak oil.
Bio-energy systems have the potential to play a major role in a sustainable energy future as in addition to their capacity for renewable power generation there are some special properties of bio-energy systems which most types of renewable energy technology do not possess. A particular advantage of biomass fuels is that it they are ideally suited to being stored and used on demand. Biomass thus avoids the problem of intermittent supply which is a major limitation for many other types of renewable energy generation, particularly wind and solar power. Biomass energy is produced using suitable organic materials, usually sourced from trees and other woody plants, as the fuel for a process of controlled combustion . There are a variety of biomass crops which grow readily in the UK, such as willow, poplar, and miscanthus.
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum global oil production rate is reached; after this point the rate of production goes into a terminal decline. Peak oil is certain to happen because oil is a finite resource – there is only so much of it, and new oil is not being created. After the peak of oil discovery and production the availability of oil will fall, and oil prices will rise dramatically; the price of a barrel of oil has recently passed the $100 mark for the first time. The problem of peak oil is made more serious because while the supply of available oil is falling, the global demand for oil is rising by about 2% per year.
“Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.”
Energy crops, waste food and farm manure are all ideal materials for biogas production. As well as generating electricity and heat biogas production also produces liquid fertiliser and a nutrient rich dry fibre which makes an excellent soil conditioner; these provide further environmental benefits because they can be used instead of oil-based fertilisers.
Jeroen van der Veer, Chief executive of Shell
Unlike most renewable energy technologies biomass and biogas are ideally suited to provide heat as well as electricity, and when the heat and electricity outputs are both utilised this greatly increases the efficiency of bioenergy production.
Preventing catastrophic climate change makes a major reduction of fossil fuel use an urgent necessity, and the impending scarcity of oil with consequent dramatic price rises means that we will have to find alternatives anyway. Taken together these two factors make it clear that the development of a reliable renewable energy network is currently a very high priority at present. Bioenergy is one of the most appropriate renewable energy technologies for developing in the UK, as the whole process from the production of fuel crops to the delivery of heat and energy can be done within the UK, strengthening the security of the energy supply. The development of a domestic bioenergy industry in the UK will lead directly to the creation of new job opportunities, and will also create and preserve employment in the domestic agricultural sector, providing a boost to local economies.
Bio-energy systems have the potential to play a major role in a sustainable energy future 4
CO2 Emissions and the lifecycle of plants
The Global Carbon Cycle *numbers are billions of tons of carbon
Bioenergy is an important renewable energy source because it does not add significant quantities of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and can be practically carbon neutral. This might appear counter-intuitive as biomass energy production in particular involves the combustion of large quantities of plant material, but it is in fact due to the use of plants as fuel that bioenergy has such good environmental performance. This is because of the role that plants have within the global carbon cycle.
decay of residues 50 – 60
The carbon cycle is the process by which carbon is exchanged between the four great reservoirs of carbon; the atmosphere, the biosphere (soil, plants and animals), the geosphere (rocks and sediments) and the oceans. There are natural processes which move carbon from one of these reservoirs to another, but human activities have become a significant influence on this cycle. In relation to the carbon cycle and climate change the most significant effect of human activities comes from our use of fossil fuels; coal, oil and gas.
40 – 50
sea-surface gas exchange 100 – 115
The fossil fuels are reserves of carbon which have been locked in the Earth’s rocks for millions of years, but as we extract and burn them we are moving that carbon into the atmosphere. Once this extra carbon is added to the atmosphere a large amount of it remains there and cannot be easily returned to the earth; consequently the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, strengthening the greenhouse effect and causing further climate change to occur.
net ocean uptake 1.6 – 2.4
Plants interact with the carbon cycle in a different way. As plants grow they absorb CO2 during photosynthesis and store it as a carbohydrate. This absorbed carbon is released when the plant is destroyed, whether by decay or combustion. Therefore the amount of CO2 released when plants are burnt is equal to the amount they have absorbed from the atmosphere during the life of the plant.
bioenergy bioenergy guide guide
100 – 120
0.6 – 2.6
The amount of CO2 released when plants are burnt is equal to the amount they have absorbed from the atmosphere during the life of the plant
Although burning wood and other plant material is essentially carbon neutral, the cultivation, harvesting, transportation and processing of biomass fuel crops can still result in a small net increase in carbon emissions at the end of the process. These emissions can be kept to a minimum with well designed and implemented biomass production networks, and there is a real advantage in having all of the stages from fuel crop production to end processing located in the same area.
biological pumping geological reservoir circulation
Energy from biomass Biomass refers to organic material which can be used as a fuel for combustion. It is most commonly sourced from living or recently dead plants although animal slurries, sewage and other suitable organic materials are also used. Using biomass energy in the form of open fires is the oldest form of energy generation practised by humans; archaeological finds show that early humans made camp fires 800,000 years ago. Most modern bioenergy production from biomass still uses direct combustion, but it has come a long way from the simple wood fire and is a highly efficient process. Biomass is a very versatile energy source and can be used in a wide range of applications from domestic log burning stoves to large scale biomass power stations. Wood is the most widely used biomass fuel, in a variety of forms including logs, woodchip, and wood pellets. Other sources include energy crops such as miscanthus (elephant grass) and agricultural by-products such as straw and poultry litter.
‘This is about turning opportunity into commercial reality and biomass is the new horizon….Last year…too many people regarded biomass as tomorrow’s fuel and we all know tomorrow never comes…’ Sir Ben Gill
Emissions from biomass power generation contain much lower levels of potentially hazardous substances such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur than the emissions from coal fired power stations. Large biomass power stations use emission cleaning technologies so that hazardous gases and particulate emissions have been reduced to very low levels. All medium and large scale biomass facilities meet strict regulation standards for air quality. The next section of the guide provides a detailed overview of biomass energy systems on three scales; domestic, commercial and large scale industrial facilities, and concludes with some of the most frequently asked questions about biomass technology.
Domestic biomass On a domestic scale biomass energy is only used for generating heat. Domestic biomass systems range in size from small log or pellet stoves that will heat a room, through to large woodchip or log boilers that can provide enough heat for a larger building or several houses. To heat a typical 3-4 bedroom house a 20-30kWsystem is recommended, and for most properties a log or pellet system will be most appropriate, as woodchip systems generally require more equipment and thus a larger amount of space. There are several important factors to consider when selecting a biomass system for a particular domestic application. If the system is intended for heating a single room then a log or pellet stove will be sufficient; for heating an entire building (or several buildings) a larger biomass boiler that can distribute heat through several radiators will be required; this type of system can be fuelled by logs, pellets, or wood chips. Logs and woodchip are generally less expensive than pellets, but pellet systems may be more appropriate for urban or suburban installations where storage space is an issue. The most appropriate type of system for a domestic property will also be determined by the availability of fuel types in the locality, how much space is available for the system itself and also for fuel storage. Biomass fuels are relatively bulky and thus costly to transport, so the distance from the supplier will directly affect the cost of the fuel. If the fuel supplier is more than 30 miles away then the economic benefits of installing a biomass system will become marginal at best, and the additional fuel miles will also negate the carbon savings from the biomass system. Biomass heating systems typically replace oil or LPG fired systems, and although the capital cost of a biomass system is higher than that of a conventional oil or LPG system the savings on fuel costs mean that over the lifetime of the system they actually cost less.
The cost of a domestic biomass system varies depending on the type of system. Front loading wood stoves start at around £500, or £600 for a stove with a back boiler which can run up to ten radiators. The average cost of an automatic pellet boiler for a domestic property is approximately £3000, and a for a larger house could cost between £4000 and £8000, depending on the size and type of system required. As well as the cost of the stove or boiler there is also the cost of the flue and the installation of the system; for a domestic property these costs will probably be between £1200 and £1800. If there is no suitable space available fuel storage may also require a shed or a hopper and this will add to the total cost of the system.
Grants of up to £2500 are available towards the cost of installing a domestic biomass system from the BERR Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), which has replaced the Clear Skies grant scheme. The grants are available for installation of certified appliances, and the work must be carried out by a certified installer who is registered with the scheme. For more information and to check eligibility visit the LCBP website at www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk 8
Domestic Biomass Case Study
The new owners of a detached 4 bedroom house in an exposed rural location were carrying out a major renovation of the property. This included installing a central heating system as the only means of heating the property were two open fires in downstairs rooms. The house does not have a mains gas supply, leaving a choice of oil or wood for the heating system. Due to the variability of oil prices and because of the environmental benefits of biomass the owners chose to install a wood boiler. The cost of installation was partly covered by a £2000 Clear Skies grant (the Clear Skies grant scheme has now been replaced by the Low Carbon Buildings Programme – see the grant information on the previous page) The requirement was for an automatic system that did not need regular attention. As the owners work from home running an internet-based business the system also needed to have sufficient fuel capacity to run throughout the day during the winter months. To meet these needs a 30kW pellet boiler with an attached 320 litre fuel store was installed in an outhouse which is attached to the side of the main house. The boiler provides sufficient heat for three zones of underfloor heating downstairs, radiator central heating upstairs and the domestic hot water tank. The pellet fuel is supplied in 25kg bags and manually loaded into the fuel store. The owners collect the pellets themselves in their own van rather than having them delivered which would be more expensive; the fuel supplier is located on the outskirts of the nearest town, 18 miles away. In the winter they collect the fuel about once a month, and in summer once every two or three months. They are able to combine the fuel collections with their regular shopping trips, which helps to reduce the transport costs and avoids additional carbon emissions. The average fuel consumption of the system is just over one bag per day; during the summer the system is generally only used for water heating and the fuel hopper is filled less than once a week. Up to 60 bags of pellets are stored in the outhouse with the boiler. The system runs at more than 90% efficiency so very little ash is produced; even in winter the ash container does not need to be emptied more than once a week
reliability of the fuel supply in the near future.
Biomass systems are a cost effective technology for a wide range of commercial operations and can be used for generating heat or combined heat and power (CHP). Commercial systems range in size from 150kW up to 2500kW or even larger. Fuel types that are widely used in commercial biomass installations include pellets, wood chip, offcuts and waste wood and willow coppice.
Most commercial applications of biomass technology currently in use are heating
“Biomass energy has the potential to be of huge benefit in terms of combating climate change, boosting farm diversification,and creating more rural jobs.” Food, Farming and Sustainable Energy Minister Larry Whitty systems but CHP is also now being successfully used on a commercial scale as the case study in this section shows. The diverse range of commercial applications of biomass heating includes hotels, sports centres, research laboratories, hospitals, schools, offices, and factories. Biomass heating is a particularly attractive option for woodworking industries such as sawmills and furniture manufacturers as they can use the waste wood they generate as a fuel source; it is also a cost effective and practical choice for farmers who can grow and process their own fuel supply. Interest from the commercial sector in biomass energy is increasing in response to the increasing cost of fossil fuels, higher charges for waste disposal, and uncertainties about the
The precise cost of a commercial biomass system varies as much as the systems themselves, and will reflect the type and size of installation required. As an example the installed cost of a small scale 100-150kW wood chip heating system will probably be in the range of £40,000 to £50,000, and the installed cost of a larger 300kW heating system is likely to be in the range of £65,000 to £75,000
Grants DEFRA Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme The purpose of the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme is to promote the efficient use of biomass for energy, by stimulating the early deployment of biomass fuelled heat and biomass combined heat and power projects. It does this by awarding capital grants towards the cost of equipment in complete installations. Grants made by the scheme were between £25,000 and £1 million. The Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme is a joint initiative by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the National Lottery Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 11
Commercial Biomass Case Study In 2005 Harper Adams University College in Shropshire installed a prototype state-of-the-art Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generator. The BG100 biomass generator is the result of ten years of research and development by the manufacturer, Staffordshire based Talbott’s Heating Ltd. The generator is designed for rural and urban settings and is ideal for installation on farms, large estates and public buildings. This technology provides an opportunity to the agricultural community for diversification revenues and selling any surplus green power to the grid. Installation of the generator led to Harper Adams receiving the Green Gown Award for renewable technologies and sustainable design.
There have been three rounds of the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme so far, and DEFRA has announced that the fourth round will continue to provide support for biomass heat although the criteria may be different. Businesses and organisations who are interested in applying for the fourth round of the scheme can receive information updates about the grant by emailing their contact details to the following address: email@example.com
Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2 Phase 2 of the LCBP provides grants for the installation of microgeneration technologies to public sector buildings (including schools, hospitals, housing associations and local authorities) and charitable bodies. For full details of eligibility and how to apply see the LCBP Phase 2 website: www.lowcarbonbuildingsphase2.org.uk
Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme The Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme provides interest free, unsecured loans to businesses to allow them to invest in equipment to allow energy savings. Slightly different conditions apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but loans can be from £5,000 to £100,000 and are repayable over a period of up to 4 years.
In operation, hot air from the generator’s combustion chamber enters a heat exchange system, which is a network of tubes. Clean air on the other side of the tubes is superheated to 800°C. As the air is heated it expands and the pressure increases. The superheated air is fired through the turbine before returning to the combustion chamber. Renewable heat from the generator is captured in a water jacket placed around the flue. It is estimated the annual CO2 savings will be 600 tonnes a year assuming an operation time of 8000 hours a year.
The Harper Adams BG100 is the first system in the world to incorporate an indirectly fired microair turbine and uses air rather than steam for generating electricity. The generator is capable of producing 100kW of renewable electricity and between 150kW and 250kW of heat from the combustion of about 2.5 tonnes of biomass per day. The versatile system can be run on a variety of biomass fuels; forestry and agricultural residues, wood chips and pellets, and energy crops such as miscanthus and short rotation coppice. The automated system is designed to run without constant supervision. It generates enough energy to provide a quarter of Harper Adams’ electrical demand and half of the heat requirement of the students’ union building, the conference building, students’ union bar and two student halls of residence. Using the biomass generator fits in with the strong commitment Harper Adams has to the renewable agenda. They are also using the BG100 as a key element in an ongoing demonstration of a fully integrated on-farm CHP system. The aim of the demonstration is to show that using this technology it is possible for farms to establish a complete biomass CHP system, from the production, harvesting and utilisation of a range of biomass energy sources to the subsequent distribution of the thermal energy generated through an on-site heat network.
“Installation of a renewable technology such as the BG100 Biomass Generator can aid farmers towards reducing their energy costs, whilst in addition utilising waste wood and agricultural materials that may be available to them” Gaynor Orton, Business Development Manager, Sustainable Technologies Network, Harper Adams University College.
Large scale biomass
The greatest benefit of developing large scale biomass power generation is the consequent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Other benefits include the potential for producing fuels within the UK, and thus ensuring a secure and reliable energy source, and the creation of new jobs and opportunities in agriculture and forestry.
Large scale biomass power stations offer a viable means of replacing unsustainable fossil fuel powered electricity generation and will make a significant contribution to the target set by the Government that 10% of UK electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2010. There are several large biomass facilities either in operation or under development in the UK including:
Biomass energy production
The Sembcorp Biomass Power Station in the Tees Valley is capable of generating 30MW of electricity (enough for a small town) and began full operations in October 2007. It requires 300,000 tonnes of locally sourced wood each year
Wood pellets, woodchip
The Steven’s Croft plant near Lockerbie is owned and operated by E.ON UK Renewables Ltd. and has a net output of 44MW, using 480,000 tonnes of fuel which is produced within 50 miles of the plant.
Biomass power plant
A 38MW straw burning biomass plant owned and operated by Energy Power Resources (EPR) Ltd. in Ely, Cambridgeshire has been operating since its commissioning in December 2000.
ScottishPower are seeking planning permission for a 20-25MW biomass power plant at Longannet in Fife which will co-fire wood and fuel derived from sewage waste.
Soil conditioner (nitrate rich ash) & a small quantity of waste ash
Heat – for drying fuel – for buildings
Steam & low levels of particulates
Planning Process 14
Prenergy Power Ltd. are developing a biomass power station at Port Talbot in South Wales. The £400m project will be one of the largest biomass facilities in the world, using wood fuel imported from the US and Canada to generate 350MW of electricity; enough to power half of the homes in Wales. bioenergy guide
Large scale biomass proposals are covered by Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning Regulations 1999 and will require an Environmental Impact assessment (EIA). Developers should contact their local planning authority at an early stage in the process, and for stations with a generating capacity of more than 50MW the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) should also be contacted in the earliest stages of project development.. Public consultation is also recommended at an early stage in the development process as it can help to counter uncertainty and misconceptions and may identify legitimate public concerns.
Biomass FAQs Domestic Biomass
you are from the supplier. Typical prices are between £150 and £250 per tonne, depending on these factors.The price of pellets is linked to the price of fossil fuels.
Q Can I use a biomass heating
system in a smoke control area?
biomass appliances with an A Yes; exemption certificate can be used in smokeless zones. A full list of exempt appliances is available at: www. uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk. Applying for an exemption certificate is a lengthy process and most pellet systems are not yet included, although their emissions are well within the requirements; if you are considering a pellet system it is worth contacting your local authority as in some circumstances they may make one off exemptions.
Case Study: Steven’s Croft One of the UK’s largest biomass power stations, at Steven’s Croft, near Lockerbie, became operational in November 2007. The facility, owned and operated by E.ON UK Renewables Ltd, is capable of generating enough power to supply 70,000 homes and will displace the emission of 140,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. The facility employs about 40 staff on site, and has created or preserved around 300 jobs in farming and forestry in the area. Steven’s Croft demonstrates the viability of large scale biomass energy production using locally sourced forestry and sawmill residues, and will serve as an exemplar for future biomass power facilities in the UK. The use of biomass fuel has influenced every aspect of the development at Steven’s Croft. The plant itself is specifically designed for biomass power generation, and the choice of location was based on the site’s good links with the wider transport network, and also for the reliable supply of biomass fuel coming from local sawmills and the extensive forestry operations in the area. The heart of the generation system is the 126MW power boiler, which uses a fluidised bed combustion process during which the biomass fuel is suspended on upward-blowing jets of air during combustion which takes place at a maintained temperature around 850 degrees Celsius. This method of combustion allows a greater range of fuel types to be used, it produces low emissions of nitric oxides and permits a simple means of removing sulphur, by using limestone as a bed material. The boiler supplies steam to the steam turbine, which in turn powers the generator, producing a net output of 43.9 MW. The plant will require 480,000 tonnes of fuel each year. The fuel will include locally grown coppiced willow, and it is projected that within four years the plant will be burning 45,000 tonnes of willow which will be produced by farmers and landowners within 50 miles of the site. Ultimately the fuel for the station will be made of up of 60% sawmill residue and branches, 20% short rotation willow from coppice, and 20% recycled fibre from wood product manufacture. Providing this amount of biomass will require about 800 hectares of forestry and 4,500 hectares of coppice. To give a sense of the scale of the operation the area of coppice required is about the same as about 7,500 football pitches.. 16
Q Do I need planning permission to
install a domestic biomass system?
unless you live in a listed A No, building or a conservation area.
Q How are pellets manufactured? pellets are made by heating and A Wood compressing sawdust. They are a very clean fuel as no toxic glues or binding agents are used and they should be dust free; sometimes a clean binding agent is used to improve the durability of the pellets.They will quickly disintegrate if they get wet so it is very important for both consumers and suppliers that they are stored in a completely dry location.
Q How much pellet fuel will I need
to heat my house for a year?
3 or 4 bedroom detached house A Awilltypical probably use between 5 and 10 tonnes of pellets per year, depending on the heating requirements of the occupants and how well insulated the property is. Making sure you have adequate insulation and draught-proofing will make your home easier to heat and save on fuel costs.
Q How much do logs cost? difficult to give a standard figure A Itforistheveryprice of logs, as it depends on the type of wood, how dry it is and on the quantity you are buying. If you are fortunate enough to own an area of woodland then you should have a free supply, although they will still require work to cut them to the required size and season them. Logs should be stored for 18 months to allow them to dry before being used for fuel. Another factor which makes it difficult to provide a standard price is that log suppliers sell logs in different quantities, not standard units. It is best to get a price from several different suppliers and find out what quality and quantity of logs they are selling in order to make sure you are paying a reasonable price.
Q How much do pellets cost? price of pellets depends on the A The quantity you wish to buy and how far
Q What type of logs are
best for firewood?
Q What emissions do biomass
Deciduous hardwoods are preferable to softwoods such as pine and spruce as hardwoods are denser so that they will require less space and a full load in the stove will burn for longer and provide more heat (although softwoods make good kindling). Some hardwood species are better than others for use as firewood. Recommended species include ash, beech, crab apple, hawthorn, and wild cherry.
is considered to be an A Biomass environmentally sound fuel because
Q How much does the fuel cost?
at the plant itself. Community consultation, appropriate choice of location and sensitive planning are essential to generate local support and mitigate potentially negative effects such as the visual impact of the plant, noise, smell and traffic.
power stations produce?
it creates much lower carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuels. Biomass combustion does create emissions such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur and particulates but these are also lower than the emissions from fossil fuel. Technological measures to control potentially hazardous substances in biomass emissions are widely used and all biomass plants meet air quality regulations.
Q How does the financial cost of
present electricity produced using biomass A Atis more expensive than with fossil fuels. Because of the environmental benefits of biomass energy production it is supported through Government crop subsidies and the Renewables Obligation; these measures will play a significant part in the development of biomass energy. Rising oil prices and the prospect of peak oil also mean that biomass energy production is likely to become more financially competitive in the near future.
Q What other effects will
biomass energy production have on the environment?
cost of fuel depends on the fuel type of energy crops for biomass A The A Production required; for commercial operators buying already uses large areas of land, and bulk loads of fuel good quality woodchip is likely to cost in the range of £50-£80 per tonne, and pellets typically cost between £120-£180, depending on the quantity bought and the distance from the supplier.
this will increase as more biomass power plants are built. The full impact of this type of land use on ecosystems, habitats and wildlife requires investigation. It is likely that energy crop production will have both positive and negative consequences for wildlife and ecosystems. Potential issues include the effect on farmland birds which are already in decline and water consumption by growing willow coppice. If the process is well understood and carefully monitored then sensitive management techniques can be developed that should ensure negative effects are kept to a minimum and all potential benefits are achieved.
Q What savings does a
biomass system offer?
financial savings from a commercial A The biomass system depend on a number of factors, including the type of system it is replacing, the fuel costs required, and also the weather. Installation of 300kW of woodchip fired heating has generated reported savings on fuel costs of £1800-£2000, and companies using their own waste wood as fuel not only save on fuel costs but also offset the cost of disposal, which can cost £100-£200 per week. Commercial biomass systems also generate large reductions in carbon dioxide emissions; a 360KW heating system can save over 300 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. 18
Q How will biomass energy
production affect communities near the power stations?
Q What is the Renewables
Renewables Obligation is a Government A The initiative that makes it a legal requirement for UK energy providers to source an increasing percentage of energy from renewable sources. The current level is 7.9% for 2007/08 and this will rise to 15.4 by 2014/15. The Renewables Obligation is expected to provide support to the renewable energy industry of up to £1bn per year by 2010.
Q What is the difference
between a biomass power station and a waste incinerator?
main purpose of a biomass power A The station is energy generation, whereas the main purpose of an incinerator is waste disposal. Incinerators burn a much wider range of materials and therefore emit a much greater amount of hazardous substances.
of biomass energy production for A Benefits local communities include the creation of employment and preservation of jobs in agriculture and forestry, as well as jobs bioenergy guide
generating electricity from biomass compare to conventional methods?
Bioenergy from anaerobic digestion Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a well established technology that produces biogas from organic material through a process of bacterial digestion in the absence of oxygen. The organic materials used to produce biogas are called feedstocks, and a wide range of organic matter can be used as feedstock, including sewage, animal manures, crops, wastes from industrial food production and the organic fraction of household waste. In the UK and other temperate countries the digester is usually heated to accelerate the process. There are two types of AD system, which differ in the operational temperature of the digestion process. Mesophilic systems operate at temperatures of 20-40 degrees Celsius, while thermophilic systems require warmer conditions of 50-60 degrees. Biogas is a mixture of 60-80% methane, 20-40% carbon dioxide, and small quantities of hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and nitrogen. Usually about 40-60% of the feedstock material is turned into biogas. The remaining material is converted during the AD process into a nutrient rich liquid known as digestate. Digestate can be applied to the land without further processing, or can be separated into a dry fibre which can be used as soil conditioner, and a liquid, sometimes called liquor, which makes an excellent fertiliser. Biogas is suitable for use in modified gas boilers to generate heat or in combined heat and power unit if electricity generation is also required. It can also be used as a fuel for vehicles; the city of LinkĂśping in Sweden has a fleet of 65 biogas powered buses, and has recently introduced the worldâ€™s first biogas powered passenger train. Anaerobic digestion can be profitably carried out by individual farms, or the organic matter from several neighbouring farms can be collected and processed at a larger centralised facility. The South Shropshire Biowaste Digester demonstrates that biogas production also presents an excellent opportunity for sustainable processing of household and commercial organic waste, reducing the volume of material sent to landfill and producing renewable energy and useful fertiliser. Biogas production delivers significant environmental benefits because as well as being a source of renewable energy it redirects organic waste that would otherwise go to landfill and potentially emit methane over a period of 20-30 years as it gradually broke down; this is a real problem as methane is about 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. By producing the methane under controlled conditions in less than three weeks anaerobic digestion turns a problematic source of greenhouse gases into a useful and clean energy source.
Many rural businesses such as food processing facilities, dairies and abattoirs are heavily dependent on energy for production and cold storage, and will feel the effects of price changes or scarcity of supply very strongly. The rural location of these businesses means that they are likely to be close to farms which produce manure; they may even be located on such a farm. As well as providing a reliable supply of electricity and heat, and a source of biofertiliser for the farm itself any surplus of energy or biofertiliser can potentially be sold on to generate extra income and help to offset the installation cost of the facility. At current energy prices, a biogas facility in ideal circumstances can have a pay-back time of less than 5 years. A considerable boost to commercial anaerobic digestion comes from the recent announcement by Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of a ÂŁ10 million fund to establish several commercial biogas facilities as demonstrator plants to raise awareness of the benefits of AD and promote the technology to potential investors. The aim is for the plants to use both agricultural wastes and municipal food waste diverted from landfill, under a collaborative partnership between local authorities and farmers. The funding is to come from the Environmental Transformation Fund which was created by the Treasury to support low carbon technologies.
Planning Process The planning process for a commercial biogas plant will require the submission of a proposal to the local authority, and biogas production will also normally require a Waste Management License, a Biofertiliser Land Use Exemption from the Environment Agency and an EU standard Animal By-Products Approval from the State Veterinary Service. Although it is desirable to situate commercial biogas plants close enough to buildings to make the sale of the heat generated a possibility, due to the nature of the process, the potential for some odours and the delivery traffic to the plant it is important that biogas facilities are sensitively located and any impacts are minimised. Community consultation is an important part of the process as it will help to raise awareness of the benefits of the biogas plant, and allay unfounded concerns about the process.
Commercial biogas production The development of commercial anaerobic digestion in the UK has been some way behind that of Europe, with a relatively small number of facilities in operation. Recently however levels of commercial interest in biogas production have increased substantially in response to increasing energy prices and concerns about the future security of supply 20
Commercial AD Case Study
The total annual heat production from the process is estimated to be up to 2,400,000 kWh. About a third of the heat generated is used by the facility to provide heating for the tanks. Coils in the bottom of each tank allow for heating of the mixture within the digestion tank to the optimum temperature for digestion, around 37 degrees Celsius. This still leaves a net heat output of 1,600,000 kWh that could be used in a local district heating system.
The South Shropshire Biowaste Digester in Ludlow is the UK’s first full-scale biogas production facility. It uses anaerobic digestion to treat 125 tonnes per week of kitchen waste collected from 19,000 households in South Shropshire. The plant was designed and is operated by Ludlow-based company Greenfinch, a national leader in anaerobic digester technology, in partnership with the South Shropshire District Council. The £2.6m project has been funded by Advantage West Midlands and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has been operational since March 2006.
The digester is currently operating at 75% of its 5,000 tonnes per year capacity, and has been running on approximately 95% food waste and 5% grass cuttings since May 2007. It is hoped that the introduction of a commercial food waste collection scheme in March 2008 will increase the throughput of the plant to its designed capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year.
The facility includes a visitor centre and is a working demonstration of the benefits of anaerobic digestion as a means of environmentally benign waste management, nutrient recycling and renewable energy production.
Organic matter as feedstock food waste animal manure
Source segregated municipal kitchen waste, and locally collected grass cuttings are shredded to enable the biodigester to convert the food waste and grass cuttings into biogas and biofertiliser. The biowaste is digested
“This project demonstrates the capability of home-grown technology to show the way forward towards a low carbon economy.”
Michael Chesshire, Managing Director of Greenfinch
and pasteurised in accordance with the Animal By-Product Regulations, and as well as generating biogas also produces liquid and solid biofertiliser which is used by local farmers on their land as a soil conditioner.
Solid fibre soil conditioner Combined heat & power unit
The biogas is used to run a 195kWe combined heat and power (CHP) unit which produces heat and electricity. A proportion of the heat is needed for the process, and a proportion of the electricity is needed to run the plant with excess sold to the national grid. With the right feedstock the facility is capable of total annual electricity generation of up to 1,440,000 kWh. About eight percent of this is used by the process plant so that the facility produces a net annual power output of 1,315,000 kWh. The electricity produced qualifies for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), a premium awarded for renewable electricity.
“This is a huge opportunity to make money on your farm. Farmers can move from being commodity suppliers, up the value chain, to new market places like energy and heat. People needn’t worry about learning new skills. Everyone who is a good farmer can be a good biogas producer. It’s still a production industry and farmers can use all their own resources, assets and skills.”
On Farm Anaerobic Digestion Biogas production is very well suited as a means of renewable energy generation for farms because they typically have the right conditions and necessary resources already, particularly if the farm includes livestock as a source of manure. On-farm anaerobic digestion is well established across Europe; in Germany there are over 2,500 on-farm digesters. In the UK the level of uptake is much lower, and there are less than 100 digesters in operation. This may reflect the fact that the capital cost of buying and installing a digester means that until fairly recently on-farm AD has been a less economically viable proposition, with relatively long payback periods of more than ten years. However, due to the recent rise in oil prices and with further rises predicted to continue this situation is changing, so that digestion is becoming a more viable option, and looks set to become ever more profitable over the next 5-10 years. On-farm biogas production may be carried out using raw materials produced on the farm, or larger facilities can collect slurry 24
Owen Yeatman, Dorset dairy farmer and biogas producer.
and energy crops from neighbouring farms, or even import food waste from nearby factories and towns. Systems that can accept food waste require additional licensing and cost more to set up, but will generate extra income from the gate fees charged for deliveries. As well as the production of heat, power, and biofertiliser from the digestion process there are other benefits from on-farm biogas production including: • Fertiliser & soil conditioner production • Odour control – AD can reduce the smell from slurries by up to 80% • Handling – digestate flows more easily than raw slurry and requires less mixing before spreading • Grazing – cattle are less likely to reject grass spread with digestate than grass spread with untreated slurry. • Weed control – the AD process kills many weed seeds and thus may reduce the need for herbicides.
On Farm AD Case Study
Costs The capital costs of an anaerobic digester are fairly high, but they can be commercially viable through the sale of electricity and the savings generated by providing a source of heat and fertiliser. A 20KW biogas CHP system suitable for a 250 hectare dairy farm can cost between £100,000 to £200,000 to set up, and may cost about £2000 pounds per year to run. A larger commercial plant generating 250KW could cost in the range of £400,000 to £500,000 although it could generate an operating surplus of £75,000 to £125,000 per year. Establishing a grid connection can be an expensive process, in some cases costing around £70,000. Siting the facility near to an existing electricity substantion or 11,000 volt line will help to keep connection costs to a minimum.
Walford College is a North Shropshire based further education establishment which specialises in training for agriculture and other land-based industries. The college runs a 260-hectare mixed farm as a base for practical training. Livestock on the farm includes a herd of 130 dairy cows, 160 sows and piglets, and some beef cattle and young dairy stock. The animals produce about 3000 tonnes of organic manure each year and an environmentally benign means of disposing of this waste needed to be found. In response to this problem the college chose to install an anaerobic digester as the centre of an integrated farm slurry management system. Before this the waste had been disposed of by spreading the raw manure directly onto the land, and one of the main aims of the project was to evaluate the benefits of anaerobic digestion as an alternative method of waste disposal over a three year period. The project was jointly funded by Walford College and the European Community’s LIFE programme.
Grants DEFRA Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme DEFRA’s Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme aims to promote the efficient use of bioenergy, including anaerobic digestion. It does this by awarding capital grants towards the cost of equipment in complete installations. Grants made by the scheme were between £25,000 and £1 million. Although the information provided about the scheme does not mention biogas the administrators, AEA, say that capital grants of up to 30% have been made available for biogas projects. There have been three rounds of the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme so far: the fourth round has been announced and may include funding for biogas production. Businesses and organisations who are interested in applying for the fourth round of the scheme can receive information updates about the grant by emailing their contact details to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a successful planning application to Shropshire County Council a biogas production plant was constructed in 1994 and began operating in October of that year. The process was initiated using a starter culture of material from a working digester. The plant includes a combined heat and power (CHP) system produced by Enviropower of Chepstow which has a generating capacity of 35kW of electricity and 58kW of heat. In the first six months of operation the electricity output averaged 18.22kW for almost 20 hours per day. 30kW of the heat produced is used to maintain a steady temperature of 35-37 degrees Celsius.
New fund for Commercial scale anaerobic digestion demonstrator plants. A new £10 million fund has been established which is intended to fund the development of a number of commercial scale anaerobic digesters, to act as demonstrator plants in a similar way to the South Shropshire Bio-Waste Digester, and encourage wider uptake and investment in anaerobic digestion in the UK. Although the type of project that would successfully attract funding under this scheme is likely to be larger than a single farm installation, a multi-farm centralised facility could be eligible to qualify. The anaerobic digestion system at Walford uses the slurry collected from the pig and dairy units; this feedstock is supplemented with chicken litter which is imported during the part of the year when the dairy herd is out in the fields. The slurry is pumped into the 335m3 digester, where it remains for 16-20 days until complete digestion has occurred. During the digestion process the unit produces 450m3 of biogas per day which is used to fuel the CHP system. Operating the system only takes an hour per day.
After complete digestion has occurred the treated digestate (material remaining after digestion) is separated into the solid and liquid components. The plant produces 15 cubic metres of liquid fertiliser or ‘liquor’ and 3 tonnes of dry fibre per day. The liquid fertiliser has no smell, and is easier to work with than unprocessed manure. An analysis of its average composition revealed that 1000 litres of the liquor contains 2.32kg of nitrogen, 1.32kg of phosphate and 5.3kg of potash. It is spread on the grazing land at the college farm. The dry fibre is an excellent soil conditioner and is made into compost, some of which is used by the college while the rest is sold for gardening use.
The capital costs of construction and installation of the digester, CHP unit and composting facility came to £133,649 including the cost of site infrastructure and connections. The project generated income from the electricity generated (avg 18.22kW) and the sales of compost, and created savings by providing fertiliser and hot water. The actual income (including savings) in the first six months was £15,278, and the projected income after a year of optimum electricity production (30kW) would be almost £37,000. At these levels of income the payback time for this project would only take between 3 and 5 years.
Biogas FAQs Q Do commercial biogas facilities smell? biogas production process is carried out in sealed tanks, and the A The waste should be received and processed inside a purpose designed shed. A well run biogas facility should not create objectionable smells.
Q Are there any fire or explosion risks from biogas production? all biogas facilities must adhere to safety regulations which require the process to be A No, very carefully monitored. In terms of explosion risks biogas is safer than natural gas. Q Is biogas production economically viable? production has higher capital costs than transporting waste to landfill as it is a more A Biogas complex and sophisticated process, but the income from energy production and gate fees, together with the rising costs of fossil fuels and the landfill taxes make biogas production increasingly attractive. Biogas plants are being built in the UK on a fully commercial basis.
Q What type of farms are suitable for installing a biogas production facility? availability of raw materials is probably most important factor in establishing whether A The or not biogas production is a viable option for a particular farm. Feedstock materials which can be produced on-farm include energy crops (such as maize and grass), and slurry. If the site is suitable for a larger facility then it may be worth getting a waste management license; with this you can collect slurry and energy crops from other farms and supplement this with food waste brought in from nearby processing industries or collected from households by a local authority. Importing food wastes is most likely to be a viable option if there are factories or a town nearby, and your site has good vehicle access for deliveries.
Q Is biogas production a profitable practice for farmers? depends to a large extent on the circumstances of a particular project. Under A This ideal conditions a farm biogas facility could have a payback period as short as 3-5 years but it is important to do a full analysis before committing resources to a project; the issue of whether or not to import food waste from elsewhere can be critical.
Q Do on-farm biogas facilities require planning permission? depends on the type and scale of facility being installed; some smaller projects may A This fall within permitted development rights or only require a basic application. Larger facilities involve a more complex planning process and may take six months or more to get approval.
Contacts and Further Information Grants Energy Saving Trust grant search page This website has an easy to use search engine that will provide details of any available energy efficiency and renewable technology grants and offers which you are eligible for. It includes biomass heating.
view/full/2019/grantsandofferssearch BERR Low Carbon Buildings Programme BERR Low Carbon Buildings Programme provides grants to householders who are installing renewable technologies, including biomass heating systems.
4 www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/ Biomass
Harper Adams University College, Defra, and the Government Office for the West Midlands to assist in the development of a dedicated regional bioenergy supply chain.
4 www.bioenergywm.co.uk The Biomass Energy Centre The Biomass Energy Centre are a source of information on wood fuel energy crops or any aspect of biomass for energy. Enquiries can be made by phone (01420 526197) or visit their website to access a wide range of information
Talbottâ€™s Biomass Energy Staffordshire-based leading manufacturer and supplier of commercial biomass systems, including the BG100 CHP system featured in the case study. Telephone: 01785 213366
The Logpile Project is run by the National Energy Foundation; the aim of the project is to promote the use of wood as a source of renewable energy and sustainable heating. The Logpile website contains information on all aspects of biomass energy and also has a searchable database of wood fuel suppliers.
Environment Agency Anaerobic Digestion Information Page
Marches Wood Energy Network (MWEN) are a Shropshire based non-profit organisation, set up in 2001 to develop and support the growth of the wood energy industry throughout the West Midlands. They can provide advice on biomass installations and fuel supply on all scales, from householders to large organisations. They can be contacted by telephone (01952 510001) or through their website, which also contains case studies and other useful information. 4 www.mwen.org.uk
Information on anaerobic digestion, case studies and links.
Smokeless Zone Exemptions A List of domestic biomass appliances which are can be used in smokeless zones/smoke control areas can be found on this website:
The Logpile Project
Marches Wood Energy Network (MWEN)
Biogas Renewable Energy Association â€“ Biogas section
The Renewable Energy Association was established in 2001 to represent British renewable energy producers and promote the use of sustainable energy in the UK. This is their biogas page containing an overview of the technology and links to further pages with in-depth information on most aspects of biogas production.
Heartwoods Project The Heartwoods project supports the development of woodlands and the timber industry in the West Midlands. The project website includes a list of wood fuel suppliers in the West Midlands:
69004/679026/679085/?version=1 &lang=_e Greenfinch: Ludlow-based anaerobic digestion and biogas specialists.
4 www.greenfinch.co.uk Farmers Weekly article on biogas. An informative Q&A based article with case studies that covers the most important issues for farmers considering biogas production. 4 http://www.r-e-a.net/content/images/ articles/0702%20Biogas.pdf Harper Adams University College. Specialists in farming and agricultural studies and managerial studies.
4 Website: www.harper-adams.ac.uk Contact: Gaynor Orton Business Development Manager Harper Adams University College Newport Shropshire TF10 8NB email@example.com
Bioenergy West Midlands has been established by Advantage West Midlands,
carbon forum carbon forum
Carbon Forum is the creative communications arm of Marches Energy Agency. We provide decarbonation inspiration. We aim to be a launch pad for people embarking on a journey to tackle climate change. Many people have heard about climate change, and some know what to do. Climate change is complex and the solutions are many. Carbon Forum seeks to address this by providing clarity and direction for community groups, public and private bodies.
um n for o b r ca Carbon Play Play is sometimes the best way of learning. It gets the brain working in different ways and can lead us to places we would not have normally gone. Perfect for communicating climate change messages. Carbon Play has developed a number of games already, from the highly successful Eco Vehicles Top Trumps to the snakes and ladders game in the EcoPack. Carbon Talk Carbon Talk is the public speaking theme within Carbon Forum; talks and presentations have always been a major part of what Carbon Forum does and Carbon Talk has been set up to build on these successes. The main aim of Carbon Talk is to produce presentations that will inform, inspire, challenge and entertain everyone who sees them, and to make sure that as many people see them as possible. Carbon Corporate Carbon Corporate has a mission to help organisations understand what the future is going to be like and to respond in ways that provide opportunities whilst minimising risk. We help clients see a positive future. To explore how their organisation can responded to the opportunities and challenges. To positively plan to be a low carbon organisation in practical, achievable steps. Carbon College Carbon College delivers training and education to community groups and organisations. It helps to stimulate grass roots action which is so often the catalyst to lasting positive changes. Carbon College takes learning beyond the realm of the theoretical. Its initial workshop style sessions are solidly based in sharing out MEAâ€™s practical understanding and experience of energy action.
Carbon Film An extension of Carbon Art, Carbon Film seeks to use alternative media to communicate climate change messages. Our highly acclaimed Costa Del Marches film marks a starting point for this theme, from which we will expand. Carbon Art Carbon Art seeks to further the development of innovative, artistic methods to communicate the climate change message. We aim to do this not only through the display and commissioning of artistic works, but also through involving communities, schools and organisations in the creative process. Carbon Schools With Carbon Schools, we’re taking the climate change message out to the next generation, helping to create a society full of energy aware citizens. We’re equipping and inspiring kids from key stage 2 and up through a range of climate change and sustainable energy themed school assemblies and workshops. Carbon Stalls: Light Fantastic Our ‘Light Fantastic’ project is a mobile exhibition housed in a professional display trailer and based around low energy lighting. Light Fantastic will provide an inspirational and engaging experience for visitors and create a persuasive case for switching wasteful incandescent lighting to low energy lighting in time for the 2011 deadline. We aim to counter any negative perceptions of low energy lighting, and highlight their key role as an accessible way to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.