Biomass Power Plants are increasing rapidly as the costs of fossil fuels go up and the need for renewable energy is increasing.Biomass Power is attractive because of its clean character and supplies a large portion of the energy needs in rural communities.With advancements in gasifier technology and energy conversion,biomass power plants have become quite popular.Biomass Power Plants are increasing in scale from around 20-50 MW to more than 100 MW as the technology has advanced quite a bit.The only problem for these large plants is securing feedstock for these power plants and storing them.Biomass Energy has a number of advantages over conventional forms of energy and depending on the feedstock cost can be generated at prices on par with fossil fuels.Biomass Energy also leads to higher energy security as biomass is almost always secured locally.
Biomass plants have also increased in popularity as cogeneration facilities with sugar processing plants and rice mills.They use the crop residue and waste from these processing factories to generate power which results in additional revenue for the agri-processing industry.Biomass Electricity also qualifies for additional subsidies and FIT from the governments who are keen to promote clean energy.
Top Biomass Power Plants in the World
Note most of the biomass power plants in the world are below 100 MW in size.Biomass Electricity Capacity is around 50 GW which is only 1% of the world’s total electricity capacity with a growth rate of around 4-5% per year.Biomass Electricity is now seeing the building of large power plants in the UK with sizes reaching upto 350 KW requiring millions of tons of feedstock per year.US accounts for more than 20% of the worlds’ biomass energy capacity.India has around 1 GW of biomass energy capacity.Here is a list of some of the major biomass electricity plants in the world.It is not an exhaustive list as of now.
Note a number of countries with huge forested areas are discussing the advantages of Biomass Energy.Romania,Bulgaria,UK are building large plants.Finland with a massive coverage of forests already generates most of its power from biomass electricity.
1) Port Talbots UK 350 MW – This will be the biggest biomass energy plant when built and will use imported fuel from Canada and USA . It will meet the entire Welsh Renewable Energy Targets.
2) Teesdies UK 295 MW – MGT Power is building it and is scheduled to begin commercial operations in late 2012
3) Alholmens,Finland 240 MW – Can used both coal and biomass as fuel.The plant has been built near paper and wood pulp feedstock.
4) Port of Bristol UK 150 MW - E.On the German utility is building the plant supposed to be completed by 2014
5) Wisapower,Finland 125 MW
6) KuaVo, Finland , 125 MW
7) Lieth,Scotland 100 MW – The plant is being developed by Scottish Energy and Forth Energy
8 ) Simmering, Vienna 66 MW Uses Wood as Fuel Largest Plant in Europe currently
9) Pecs,Hungary 65 MW
10) Texas 100 MW Plant Southern Company
11) Okeelanta (cogen) Florida 74 MW
12) Berlin,New Hampshire 70 MW – Laidlaw Energy Group a small US listed IPP is developing this plant
13) Williams Lake British Columbia 60 MW – This biomass plant is now owned by BC Hydro
Note most of the big biomass plants are still in the planning stage and some may not materialize.There is also opposition to some of the big biomass plants like Leigh etc since people are opposed to burning of biomass as they think it leads to carbon emissions.Their are also concerns of pollution from big biomass leading to NIMBY concerns amongst the local citizens.