Bioenergy investment opportunities and advice for West Midlands businesses

An innovative business competition has been launched in the West Midlands for companies keen to develop opportunities in renewable bioenergy

3 October 2012

An innovative business competition has been launched in the West Midlands for companies keen to develop opportunities in renewable bioenergy.

This pilot project, unique to the West Midlands, is looking for five organisations within the region which have the potential to site innovative small-scale bioenergy power plants. These plants are capable of providing organisations with heat, power and electricity powered by a range of renewable sources including grass and green clippings, meat and bone meal, sewage sludge, husk from wheat and barley, oil pressing cake from rape seed, soy bean, cocoa butter, olive, sunflower, miscanthus, wood, algae, corn residue, dried anaerobic residues and brewery residues. Plants are compact and can be housed in a building 12m².

Organised under the auspices of Birmingham Science City as a part of BioenNW - an EU funded Interreg IVB project - the ‘Regional Competition for Development of Innovative Bioenergy Schemes’ is open to West Midlands based local authorities, industrial organisations, landowners, developers, waste companies, energy companies and any other stakeholders interested in infrastructure development of this type.

The identified site with the highest potential to house a bioenergy plant, will win both a development plan and a business plan. Four other sites will receive development plans.

Dr Pam Waddell, Chair of the Competition Steering Group and Director of Birmingham Science City, said: “If you have an idea for a bioenergy scheme, this competition provides a fantastic platform from which you can accelerate your plans. The chosen sites will work with appointed consultants to take their local schemes to the point of build. I am delighted that the West Midlands is setting an example for the rest of Europe to follow, in a project seen as so significant for Europe that BioenNW has been awarded Strategic Initiative status by the European Union. I would encourage any interested organisations within the West Midlands to submit an Expression of Interest form.”

BioenNW sees five countries in North West Europe working together to deliver local, small-scale bioenergy schemes using anaerobic digestion and a new pyrolysis technology called a Pyroformer™, developed by researchers at the project’s lead partner, the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University.

Full details of how put forward your local bioenergy scheme for consideration, application forms and further information forms can be found at: www.bioenergy-nw.eu.

For further information, please contact Louise Russell, EBRI Marketing and Communications Officer, on 0121 204 4637 or at l.a.russell1@aston.ac.uk.

Notes to Editors

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI)
EBRI based at Aston University delivers world-class research into all aspects of bioenergy. EBRI has been established since 2007 and bioenergy research has been taking place at the University from as early as 1978. EBRI staff conduct research into all aspects of bioenergy ranging from fundamental research through development, to deployment of innovative technologies, in collaboration with industry. The EBRI research team works with regional, national and international businesses and organisations to help them realise opportunities from this new high growth sector. www.aston.ac.uk/ebri


The EBRI research team is leading an ambitious international project promoting the wider adoption of bioenergy in regions of North West Europe to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy security and employment opportunities.The BioenNW project supports companies, organisations and local authorities to deliver local bioenergy in parts of the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands by promoting the use of innovative bioenergy power stations fuelled by waste on a small scale (from 5-10MW output) across the West Midlands (UK), Ilede-France (France), Wallonia (Belgium), Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and Hessen (Germany). The project is demonstrating the economic viability of power generation from urban and rural waste and how technologies can be used with anaerobic digestion and difficult to manage waste streams. www.bioenergy-nw.eu

Birmingham Science City

Birmingham Science City is a partnership of public sector, businesses and the research base, which is facilitating the use of science and technology to improve the quality of life and prosperity in and around Birmingham.  Supported by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham, Warwick and Aston Universities, Birmingham Science City’s aim is to create strategies to exploit centres of world-class scientific research, by developing relevant activities for sustainable economic and social benefit. Visit www.birminghamsciencecity.co.uk for further information.