Biomass holds two major advantages over other energy vectors: It is not intermittent and can be used as a reliable baseload to improve security of supply on-site, in the same way as fossil fuels. However, unlike fossil fuels, it is considered carbon neutral. Furthermore, thanks to the government incentives such as ROCs, CfDFiT, and RHI, it can also substantially reduce energy costs for our customers.
Renewable heat and power
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Biomass is any degradable organic matter that can be transformed into energy. All biomass projects start with the local feedstock – in the UK this is typically virgin woodchip, wood pellets and recycled waste wood, as well as some less common fuels such as rice-husk, coffee grinds and poppy straw. If a site has an organic waste stream, we can work to incorporate that into the plant design and turn what would otherwise have gone to waste into a revenue stream.
Combustion has been the traditional approach to harnessing that energy, but gasification is fast gaining recognition as a viable alternative. To this end, Ameresco has been engaged in a research project on biomass gasification and combustion with the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London.
We can create large, utility-scale biomass-to-energy plants, as well as smaller on-site biomass cogeneration and distributed generation plants that can fulfill a significant portion of a facility’s energy needs, reducing energy costs, water consumption and air emissions. Ameresco has different ways of helping to finance this technology through power purchase agreements (PPA), turnkey solutions or an energy savings performance contract (ESPC).
By using the energy cost savings and government incentives, as well as having the ability to sell excess clean energy back to the local community via the national grid, Ameresco can help our customers with a budget neutral approach to develop biomass projects.