Thursday, 25 August 2011
“We want a balanced energy portfolio and we want biomass to play a central role in this. Biomass electricity is both predictable and controllable and I am very interested in the potential for co-firing and conversion. I am confident that the bioenergy industry can deliver our ambition for around 6GW of biomass electricity by 2020, as set out in our Renewables Roadmap.”
“The UK industry has been at the forefront in ensuring biomass electricity is sustainable and that it delivers real greenhouse gas savings. The very clear sustainability criteria we now have in place will mean we know where biomass has come from and how it has been grown.”
UK minsters have been rather timid, at least in public, in stating their support for biomass, so we were very pleased to see this unambigous statement from the Energy Minister.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
The UK Renewable Energy Association has today launched its ‘back biomass’ campaign. Click here to see the press release.
The campaign is focussed on the outcomes of the Renewables Obligation banding review with regard to biomass power and CHP. As well as ensuring suitable levels of support, the big priority is to ensure that Government keeps to its promise of making a firm decision on the review by the end of this year.
REA has set up a website (www.backbiomass.co.uk) with key arguments, case studies and details of how to get involved. Please circulate this to as many colleagues as possible. The campaign has the support of Charles Hendry and will feature a Parliamentary event in the Autumn. More details to follow.
Monday, 22 August 2011
Risi has just made a press release, summarized below, that notes the dramatic impact of IT on the use of paper forecast in both the US and European markets. For context a 50% reduction in pulp use for paper in the US market could be 130m tons per annum
Sales of Media Tablets to Reach 195 Million Units by 2015, Causing Paper Use in Magazines to Fall by 20% and to Half in Fifteen Years Time in North America
The market for media tablets – consisting of tablet computers (including Apple's iPad) and electronic readers (including Amazon's Kindle) – exploded in 2010. By the end of the first year of availability, over 15 million tablet computers were in use. In North America alone, the size of the electronic reader market almost doubled, with over 10 million in use. Early-on, signs of trouble for the publication paper market became clear:
- In 2010, the top free app in Apple's iTunes store was iBooks.
- A Morgan Stanley inquiry discovered that 42% of US tablet owners will cancel their print newspaper subscription
- In May of this year, Amazon.com announced that ebook sales now exceed those of printed book sales in the U.S.
"Many graphic paper producers make their living selling paper to the publishing industry, those companies will be greatly affected by media tablets," explains John Maine, RISI's Vice President World Graphic Paper and Study Team Leader. "Significant demand impacts could come as soon as 2012."
The Impact of Media Tablets on Publication Paper Markets finds that by 2015, most publishing paper end uses in North America, such as magazine, newspaper and book publishing, will fall 12-21% compared to their 2010 levels. This is on top of the massive collapse that occurred during the recent recession. Paper use in North American books, magazines and newspapers could see another 40-50% fall over the next 15 years.
Market declines are also anticipated in Europe, especially for printed newspapers, but the percentage losses in the Western European market will be somewhat less than North America because of a reduced rate of media tablet adoption and fragmented media markets.
The Impact of Media Tablets on Publication Paper Markets forecasts the decline by grade and end-use in the Publication Paper Market over the next five, ten and fifteen years, analyzing the effects of e-readers and tablet computers on the North American and Western European markets. The forecast covers three scenarios: a base case, strong impact case (with quicker diffusion of tablets to the mass market) and a weak impact scenario.
For more information, visit www.risi.com/media.
RISI is the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. The company works with clients in the pulp and paper, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue, nonwovens, printing and publishing industries to help them make better decisions.
Headquartered in Boston, MA, RISI operates additional offices throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. More information can be found at www.risi.com.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Andrew Jameison, chair of the RenewableUK wind energy trade
association, to head up a Government and industry task force "in
driving the work necessary to bring the levelised costs of offshore
wind down to £100/MWH".
What prompts me to blog is the utter economic stupidity of the
proposal. The price paid for wind turbines is a simple matter of
supply and demand, not the underlying costs of manufacture. Reducing
the cost of manufacture will simply increase the turbine industry
profitability. Why? Well, there are only a handful of manufacturers
in a world of buyers. When you have many more buyers than suppliers,
the balance of power is in the hands of the suppliers, and suppliers
can auction their capacity to the highest bidder, in the USA, China,
Perhaps the UK government is seriously proposing to rebalance the
power towards buyers, by increasing the number of suppliers to such an
extent that there are more manufacturers than users in the world, such
that buyers can auction their contracts to a competitive universe of
manufacturers? Such a coordinated attempt to distort a market seems
frankly Marxist in it's lofty aspirations.
Why does it matter to me? Well, I grew up in an industry where the
fittest win. One where the government didn't pick the winners, the
white heat of competition did that. I saw the competitiveness of large
scale biomass 5 years ago, and yet successive layers of government
meddling have conspired to thwart my attempts to deliver the concept.
We live in a world where government intervention is being rightly
punished for it's folly (think Euro) but they won't learn.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Friday, 12 August 2011
The study updates the 2005 study which identified the availability of over 2 billion tons of wet (1 billion tons dry) biomass available from US forestry and agricultural activities. The latest study (194 pages) is available here:
The study forecasts some 240 million wet tons of forest biomass available by 2030, at a local price of <£27 per mtonne (assuming 50% moisture, $1.627/£).
Further updates here once we have digested the report.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
RO Banding Review Timing Reiterated Yesterday by UK Government....
Yesterday the Government published its "roadmap" to the green economy", (https://online.businesslink.gov.uk/Horizontal_Services_files/Enabling_the_transition_to_a_Green_Economy__Main_D.pdf) with the statement copied below. The timeline itself can be seen here, https://online.businesslink.gov.uk/Horizontal_Services_files/Green_Economy_Policy_Timeline-WEB.pdf and the RO Banding Review is confirmed as taking place this year and coming into force, as planned, at 1st April 2013 when the current bands end.
Post Date: 08 August 2011
The government has set out its ambitious vision to help businesses prepare for the transformation of the British economy so that it can meet the challenges of the more resource-stretched future.
The documents, under the collective title of Enabling the Transition to a Green Economy, have been developed by Defra, BIS and DECC in response to requests from the private sector for greater clarity on what the government means by the term “green economy”, its policies for achieving this, and how they come together.
They also outline also what businesses need to do to play their role in the transition and be well placed to capitalise on the new opportunities for growth and job creation.
They include the government's vision; a timeline for the key policies andinvestments; a document for SMEs on what the transition means for them; three case studies highlighting how the chemicals, food and drink and automotivesectors are responding to the issues of moving to a green economy, together with additional guidance.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
We have been informed by DECC that the RO Banding Consultation document is progressing and will be published as soon as possible. There have been no changes to DECC's plans – contrary to the impression given in yesterday's article in the Argus, which begins "The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it will be "late August at the earliest" before it announces proposed revisions to renewable obligation certificate (Roc) banding levels. The announcement comes amid reports that a decision on Roc banding has been delayed until the end of the year." This is not the official DECC position on the timing of the publication, and it is misleading to talk of a delay, as the decision has actually been brought forward a year.