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Trees and sewage are Wales’s fuel future

by David Masters
March 2, 2009

Woodchips, sewage and animal waste could become key energy sources in Wales if plans proposed by the Welsh Assembly get the go ahead.

According to the Bioenergy Action Plan for Wales, the country could generate more than 5TWh of electricity and 2.5TWh of renewable heat from biomass sources by 2020.

This is enough for 20% of the country’s electricity needs, and 3% of its heating needs.

If the plans are approved, Wales will reduce its carbon emissions by three million tonnes a year.

In addition, 1,000 extra jobs will be created in the Welsh bioenergy industry.

Announcing the plans, Welsh Assembly environment minister Jane Davidson said: “Biomass is an energy source the Welsh Assembly government wants to see being used across Wales.

“We will help both the public and the private sectors increase their use of different technologies for the efficient generation of heat and electricity from biomass, and to increase the supply of biomass from Wales.”

Biomass is considered carbon neutral because the amount of carbon it absorbs whilst growing it is the same as the carbon released when it is burned.

“Biomass has the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, while cutting our carbon emissions,” Davidson said.

“Low carbon technologies that use biomass are recognised all over the world as an important element in our fight against climate change.”

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