UK: Local campaigns against biofuel and biomass power stations

Biofuelwatch offers advice and support to residents and local groups concerned about bioenergy developments near them. We’ve supported campaigns around biomass and biofuel power stations, both proposed and already built. We also support residents impacted by other infrastructure such as woodchipping and waste wood plants.

Several of the campaigns we’ve supported have been successful. Most recently, in June 2018, a proposal for a large biomass and waste gasifier in Milford haven was rejected by the Welsh government, following a lengthy campaign by Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth, The Environment Network for Pembrokeshire and Biofuelwatch.

If you’re concerned about the impacts of a biomass or biofuel power plant near you, whether proposed or an existing one, please send us an email.

Here are highlights of active local campaigns in the UK (last updated March 2019):

+Noise complaints in Markinch, Fife:  In Markinch, RWE has been operating what is still the UK’s largest dedicated biomass power station since 2014. Residents have been badly affected by noise from the power station, and the local authority has refused to monitor air quality in the local area. Biofuelwatch is working with a local residents group seeking to compel Fife Council  and SEPA to take enforcement action over RWE’s excessive noise levels, and we are also providing advice and support with trying to convince Fife Council to start local air quality monitoring.

+ Campaign against a pwood gasification plant proposed with no controls on emissions in Monmouthshire: We are working with Llanarthfawr Community Council to try and prevent a local company, Morgan & Co from getting planning consent for building a 6 MWe biomass gasification plant without any controls on air emissions. Morgan & Co previously obtained planning consent for a gasification plant but did not succeed with commissioning it. The company is now looking for substantial changes to that planning consent, claiming that all impacts will be fully controlled by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) via an environmental permit. NRW, however, has confirmed that there is no permit for the plant and that it has no power to request or even grant one because it does not fall within its permitting remit (unless it was to gasify waste wood). A planning deciision was postponed in March pending further investigations. 

Barry residents protesting against a planned waste wood gasifier

+ Campaign against a waste wood gasifier in Barry, Wales: In Barry, a company called Biomass UK No.2 Ltd – financed by Aviva – has built a 10 MWe waste wood gasifier against huge local opposition. As of March 2019, the developers are trying to commission the plant. The local Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) is continuing with several challenges. We have been supporting DIAG with presenting evidence to Ofgem that the plant cannot be considered eligible for renewable energy subsidies (because it was not commissioned by the time the relevant subsidies scheme closed).