Biofuel: Scotland’s sustainable example?

Watching Belinda Joyner’s anxious, very angry, plea for the biofuel industry in the UK to stop its involvement in an industry destroying lives in her impoverished community and raging against the the giant biomass power station in Yorkshire, Drax, and its massive US/Canada imports of whole mature trees, felled for that purpose alone, I was moved to find out more.

In 2020, 63% of the pellets burned by Drax were imported from the South-Eastern US. In addition to those 4.68 million tonnes, Drax also burned 1.23 million tonnes from Canada and 836,542 tonnes from the Baltic States, as well as smaller quantities from Portugal, Brazil, Belarus and Russia.

#AxeDrax Campaign

It’s worth watching.

I note that the Scottish Government has moved away from an initial broad enthusiasm for this technology toward a more sustainable form. More on this at:

Also, in March 2019, Falkirk Council rejected a planning application which would have extended planning consent for a major bio-fuel power plant. There is now no planning consent to allow a bio-fuel power plant to be built at Grangemouth More at:

Looking around my local area in South-West Scotland, I found what seems to be a relatively sustainable example.

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 14.32.52

LandEnergy in Girvan, Ayrshire, make the following claims:

The cornerstone of Land Energy’s supply chain is our wood pellet production plant situated on the South West coast of Scotland in the South Ayrshire town of Girvan. The plant was developed and built by Land Energy and is and located within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, the largest forested area in the UK – that’s why we are here.

All of our timber comes from sustainable, and responsibly-managed forest sources which adhere to UK standards and comes from the local area around the plant.

The average distance our feedstock to reach the plant is 56km, a fraction of the distance travelled by conventional coal or oil energy resources. We are on the Biomass Supplier List and comfortably surpass their requirements, ensuring that you will meet all your RHI obligations.

More at:

12 thoughts on “Biofuel: Scotland’s sustainable example?

    1. Agreed, how SG breaks the myopic concerns of London policy for company profits over fuel poverty and energy wastage, particularly when their stated aim is net zero carbon emissions, is key.

      Despite being energy rich, Scotland in common with England consumes far more energy for space heating than is necessary, entirely due to Tory dogma that domestic insulation is a private matter in which the state has no role.
      London led energy policy will not reverse any time soon, Scotland’s only hope is to abandon London to it’s wasteful ways.
      eg – My youngest daughter’s last flat in Dundee was externally insulated thanks to one of the last EU funded projects, her heating bills plummeted over 50%.
      Now scale that up…..

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hydrogen must be generetated using electricity from sources other than burning carbon.
      electricity + water = hydrogen + oxygen

      hydrogen + oxygen = energy + water

      why not cut out the middle man hydrogen and have electricity = energy


      1. Electricity is not a universal solution Alex, not everyone has electric heating or electric vehicles.
        As hydrogen can be produced when we have an excess of power available, it is both a valid storage medium and a potential portable fuel.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Cameron, dear Cameron, see this sort of thing:

    ‘This is this sort of stuff I’m trained to deal with’


    ‘I’m not stroking my ego in public, I’m rising to the occasion’

    do you think it might be irritating some readers and commentators?

    Any chance of a bit less heid-the-ba’ and more self-effacing charm to win us round?

    You might, just might, be driving neurotypical folk away.



    1. John, I’m someone who has zero social capital, yet I’m trying to point folks towards how to defend their legal rights from neo-liberal capitalism. I’m also rusty as hell and have little experience as an educator. So it’s a bit disappointing I don’t meet with your approval, but I hear what you are saying.


  2. P.S. I do appreciate you’ve cut me a lot of slack, so I hope that didn’t sound overly churlish. If I’m being honest about things, I’m a bit stunned myself that I’m able to reconnect with interdisciplinary practice, after so much time.


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