Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Avonmouth and the Orang utans

This picture was taken in Indonesia - it's one of the huge 'Earth from the Air' placards that will be on display through Bath city centre through till January. The exhibition's been updated since its appearance in Bristol four or five years ago. See them if you possibly can! Take the family!

This picture is from a planning application (09/03235/F) currently awaiting 'determination' by Bristol City Council. It's what one small corner of Avonmouth could look like.

What they have in common is palm oil. At the Indonesian end, as a crop to replace the rainforests. At Avonmouth, as a 'renewable' fuel earning premium prices in the electricity generating market.

The power station is proposed by a firm called W4B Bristol Ltd, of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. It does have some merits... it uses a site and some of the structures left by Sevalco Ltd. But it doesn't even attempt to do anything other than generate electricity for the grid - its other potentially useful product, process heat, will be wasted.

Nor does it attempt to use locally produced biofuels. The oils it uses will be highly processed products imported from the other side of the planet at the expense of the rainforest (not to mention the orang utans). Certainly not from Bristol's takeaways! Carbon neutral? You're joking.

So sadly, it's thumbs down for this one. To make it easy, there's far more explanation and background on a biofuelswatch page, with all the links you could want for evidence, and a well reasoned 'objection' to copy and
paste if you haven't time or confidence to construct your own.

A similar application by the same company (under a slightly different name) was turned down by the Weymouth and Portland Council on Sept 16 - apparently due to the same concerns about the impacts of palm oil planting. Let's make sure that Bristol's planners are equally well informed.


Dorothea said...

"At the Indonesian end, as a crop to replace the rainforests"

Pfui. They might as well call the computer a machine to replace thinking.

Expect a lot more of this pseudo-eco fake green rubbish as reality finally dawns and the panic builds.

Pete Goodwin said...

Just found the Weymouth/Portland planning decision, giving reasons for refusal. One of them is the distance that the proposed fuel would have to be transported. That should be equally valid here - unless the applicants put up an alternative source/fuel.

Dorothea said...

Hopefully, otherwise that'll be another expensive, import dependent white elephant.

Even local agrofuels aren't great either, if they take up land that could be used for food.

Cutting down on energy use and waste is the obvious solution, of course. But that won't keep profits flowing into the corporate coffers though, will it?

Glenn Vowles said...

Best to make your biofuel from all that waste oil and fat from chip shops and numerous other sources. This is highly likely to be the greenest option.

Stockwood Pete said...

Much smaller scale, though...

What's the best way to use Bristol's used cooking oils and fats? filtering and burning? as road fuel/diesel?

Maybe in a CHP plant to fuel the regional stadium - and the Tescos and housing that goes with it?

Nature Alert said...

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Dorothea said...

It’s all the fault of the EU, according to you know who.

Someone needs to tell these guys that nuclear power isn’t renewable - it uses Uranium, and the more countries build nuclear power plants, the faster it will be used up. And Uranium doesn’t grow in Britain, it comes from … oh yes, abroad.

They’ve got it right on biofuels though:

“The land needed to produce enough grain to fill the tank of a 4X4 with biofuel just once would feed one person for a whole year.”

“The targets are unachievable.”