Environmentalists question green benefits of Renewable Energy Systems' planned 100-MW, £250M wood biomass power plant in Northumberland, England

LOS ANGELES , December 6, 2011 () – Plans by U.K. energy company Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. (RES) for a £250 million (US$389.5 million), 100-megawatt wood-fueled bioenergy plant in Northumberland, England, could add to global warming and climate change, according to activist group Biofuelwatch UK, The Journal of Newcastle upon Tyne reported Dec. 3.

RES wants to build the North Blyth Biomass Project between the villages of North Blyth and Cambois. It says the 50-employee plant would cut carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes/year. RES is preparing to submit its application for a permit to the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

The Blyth plant would involve imports of 900,000 tonnes/year of wood fuel, speeding up global deforestation, Biofuelwatch member Emelia Hanna told a public meeting on the RES proposal, reported The Journal.

Burning the fuel would produce carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, said Hanna, adding she distrusted RES pledges to screen out the gases. Stored biomass fuel can also self-combust and lead to fires, she said.

Biofuelwatch also argues the plant would also increase truck traffic and pose threats to local wildlife, The Journal reported.

Gateshead-based RES said the plant would not cause traffic problems or threaten marine life, adding that it would incorporate measures to prevent fires in the bulk storage area for pellets.

The primary source of this article is The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on Dec. 3, 2011.

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