Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Come on Gordon Let's Get on with Bio-Energy Production in 2008

Happy New Year all subscribers! Here's hoping for a great new year for Anaerobic Digestion and biogas projects generally.

Here is a rallying call to all for the start of 2008...

Considering that about 60 % of the total amount of UK animal manure could be handled at biogas plants in future, the potential of primary energy from biogas is a small but significant percentage of the UK renewable energy target.

Using renewable energy from biogas eliminates greenhouse gas production and reduces the use of non-renewable fossil fuel. So why is this target not being pursued more vigorously by the UK government?

Gordon Brown introduced the possibility in the Climate Change Bill of raising the target for cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (NCE Magazine (eMap) 22 November 2007).

However, a simple calculation tells us that, even if we start now, that implies a steady reduction of 3.7% per year (compounded year on year) for the next 43 years.

This is surely a big burden and even the existing target of reducing by "only" 60% implies a 2.1% reduction per year.

Can the UK really do that? Don’t also forget that the population of the UK is forecast to grow by possibly 30% over the same period.

I am sure that the pundits will say that the national economy will be very likely to suffer.

Will members of the public go along with that? They possibly will, but only if they can see the path forward and that the systems being invested in are truly green.

Of course they will understand this is the case, especially for bioenergy, however, the energy experts and engineers explain to them that some energy-saving technologies can bring them financial benefit if up-front investment is made soon enough.

The experts will also need to explain the reality of ‘peak oil’, how we have never known when this will be upon us and still have very little idea. However, current escalation of oil prices will pale into insignificance once the threshold is upon us. For all we know peak oil might occur next year, or not for 20 years, but peak oil will happen, and when it does they will want the then relatively cheap bioenergy to fill the gap.

Bioenergy (including biogas energy) is only one of the technologies which will succeed if explained in this way. Draught-controlling passive house ventilation is another example where the public save money as well as enhancing the environment.

Now is the chance of our readers, especially those visitors who are active professionals in the bio-energy field to take the lead and achieve that respected high profile long sought by those in the renewables and biogas industries.

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