St Albans biomass incinerator backed by Friends of the Earth

PUBLISHED: 14:38 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

SUPPORT for a new biomass incinerator on the outskirts of St Albans has come from the local branch of Friends of the Earth – but with several reservations. The incinerator – which uses biomass technology and eliminates the need for fossil fuels to meet en

SUPPORT for a new biomass incinerator on the outskirts of St Albans has come from the local branch of Friends of the Earth - but with several reservations.

The incinerator - which uses biomass technology and eliminates the need for fossil fuels to meet energy needs - is the subject of a planning application from Navitas Environmental and would be built in Potters Crouch close to Apps Pond Lane.

It would use recovered wood and be on the site of the existing recycling plant where fire has broken out on a number of occasions and which has caused smell problems for neighbours during recent summers.

St Albans and District Friends of the Earth (FoE) are supporting the scheme even though they would like to see all waste wood recycled which, they admit, is not possible at present.

They regard using the wood to produce electricity as preferable to burying it in landfill where it could produce methane gas.

Local coordinator Amanda Yorwerth said: "Producing energy from wood produces much less carbon dioxide than burning fossil fuels and we need to encourage low carbon alternatives to existing power stations."

But she said that FoE would like assurances that the site would be properly regulated to ensure that emissions from the plant were not harmful to people or the environment and that lorries visiting the site did not become an excessive burden on local roads.

The Navitas scheme would source recovered wood from within Herts to fuel the new facility and generate around 6MW of electricity to be fed into the National Grid.

The plant would be able to power the equivalent of several thousand homes.

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