Jon Yeomans of Contigo responds to Utility Week storyCompany News, 26/Mar/2012 - James Weavin
Contigo's Jon Yeomans was featured in Utility Week (23rd March 2012) in reply to statements presented by Miles Thomas of Savills regarding the suitability of new biomass plants (Utility Week, 9 March, “Biomass short straw warning”). The letter to the Editor read:
I disagree with the statements presented by Miles Thomas of Savills regarding the suitability of new biomass plants (Utility Week, 9 March, “Biomass short straw warning”).
A 2007 study showed that 10 million tonnes of straw and 2.5 million tonnes of rapeseed is produced annually, with a surplus of around 5 million tonnes available for potential energy use. This has a potential value in excess of £200 million, but as only 10-20 per cent of it is being used for energy production, it’s clear that this is not a seller’s market.
Farmers are selling to a dynamic renewable's consumer. If straw supply is restricted or price increases, biomass consumers could switch to alternative international sources with higher calorific values, better chemical qualities or higher densities, reducing transportation costs.
However, there is an opportunity for farmers to co-op. Constructing a pelleting plant in the right location makes excess straw far more commercially viable, particularly if farmers work with forward-thinking hauliers.
Road transport costs would be reduced, making it more cost effective to move these fuels up to a couple of hundred kilometres – far greater than the 30 miles quoted.
Director, Contigo Energy"
You can download the Letter to the Editor in PDF form by clicking here.