Davyhulme Incinerator In Doubt
Campaigners hope that last week’s Government U-turn could spell the end for the Barton Renewable Energy Plant, in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester. A cap on subsidies available to new biomass plants will come into force next month. This will mean that only a limited number of wood-burning incinerators will receive Government grants.
“The Government has focussed on giving large subsidies to converting large coal-fired power stations to biomass,” said Breathe Clean Air Group Chairman Pete Kilvert. “It means that the smaller, new biomass plants like the Barton Renewable Energy Plant may miss out on subsidies to the likes of Drax in Yorkshire and Ironbridge in Shropshire,” he added.
Having previously supported subsidising new biomass plants, the Government is now only prepared to support biomass electricity generation totalling 400 MegaWatts. It casts doubt on whether Peel’s 20 MW proposal will get help.
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey has admitted that biomass is only a temporary solution to meet climate change targets whilst other renewable systems were being developed. He said that making electricity from biomass based on imported wood is not a long term answer to the country’s energy needs.
“The Government has so far claimed that biomass is carbon neutral,” said Mr Kilvert, “but in the light of the Government’s u-turn on subsidies, we expect an announcement from its chief energy scientist David MacKay, that burning biomass produces masses of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas that will increase the UK’s carbon footprint, not decease it. We also expect that Mr MacKay will admit to the overwhelming evidence that burning biomass produces tonnes of tiny particulate matter which will have massive health impacts” he added.
The Breathe Clean Air Group’s lobbying campaign has sent hundreds of emails and tweets to Government Ministers. This week the focus is on Prime Minister David Cameron.