Methodology used in Biomass Power Station Location & Deprivation

The Indices of Multiple Deprivation

To generate the data used in the deprivation study included in “Biomass: The Chain of Destruction”, a measurement called the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) was used. The IMD is a qualitative study of deprived areas in the UK, published by the UK government.

It is based on the concept that deprivation consists of more than just poverty. Poverty is not having enough money to get by on, whereas deprivation refers to a general lack of resources and opportunities. Separate indices have been developed for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the results are available to the public online. This study focused on England and Scotland.

A country is split up into “Lower Super Output Areas” – homogenous small areas of relatively even size (of around 1,500 people) of which, for example, there are 32,482 in England and 6,505 in Scotland. These are then ranked from the least deprived (1) to the most deprived (32,482 in the case of England or 6,505 in Scotland).

Biomass Power Station Location

Grid co-ordinates for biomass power stations throughout the UK are available from Biofuelwatch Once the location of a biomass power station was established on a map, a radius of 1km was plotted around it. IMD interactive mapping tools for England and Scotland were then used to establish all of the Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) that occurred within this 1km range.

Data Analysis

Once a data set of LSOA ranks for each power station had been collected, these ranks were combined and averaged for each. The LSOA ranks were also population weighted, to take account of the fact that LSOA size can vary. This measure was useful because it summarised the geographical area which fell within 1km of a biomass power station taken as a whole, including both deprived and less deprived LSOAs. This resulted in a single average IMD rank for each biomass power station area which was used as the final data set from which to generate the graphs and tables used in the report. Please see pages 54 – 57 of this document for more information on the calculation used.

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