Gas made from cheese to heat hundreds of homes

Posted: April 12, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, government, ideology
Tags: ,

New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]

New fuel source [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]


Despite appearances this is a Daily Telegraph report, not an April Fool joke.

Hundreds of homes in Cumbria will be heated using cheese from next month, as a new government-backed green energy plant starts producing gas from cheddar production waste.

The anaerobic digestion plant at the Lake District Creamery in Aspatria will receive millions of pounds in subsidies for turning whey and other residues from the cheese production process into “biogas”.

Some of the gas will be used to generate electricity on-site, while the remainder will be processed and fed into the local gas grid where it will be used by homes and business for their heating and cooking.

Clearfleau, the company that built the new plant, said the total amount of gas being fed into the gas grid each year would be equivalent to the annual gas needs of 4,000 homes. About 60 per cent of that gas is expected to be taken back out of the grid for the creamery’s own use in steam-making, leaving the equivalent of 1,600 homes’ annual gas usage circulating to homes and businesses in rural Cumbria.

The project is going ahead thanks to a lucrative Government subsidy scheme which rewards homes and businesses for producing energy from renewable sources, in order to meet EU renewable energy targets and UK climate change goals.

Lake District Biogas, the developer which is funding the up-front cost of the project, is expected to receive about £2 million a year in subsidies, paid for by consumers through levies on their energy bills, for the next 20 years.

Further subsidies will be paid for the electricity produced on site, while the project will also serve to cut the costs of energy and waste disposal at the creamery, which produces thousands of tonnes of cheddar every year.

Daily Telegraph report: Gas made from cheese to heat hundreds of homes

Comments
  1. ntesdorf says:

    One of the major reasons for the emergence of schemes like this is the availability of “a lucrative Government subsidy scheme”. If the “lucrative Government subsidy scheme” is withdrawn in the future, these things tend to magically disappear. If there was “a lucrative Government subsidy scheme” applied to hamsters and white mice generating electricity with their play-wheels, then an industry would arise overnight also.

  2. Bob Greene says:

    Interesting project. They do not give many technical details such as gas concentrations, length of pipeline and overall power consumption, but you can guess from the gas distribution. They get a break on needing only membrane separation to remove CO2 in the upgrade process. Nor do the compare the cost of natural gas with the cost of injecting the gas into the pipeline. These projects are viable only if the price of the gas sole (sales+subsidy) is considerably more than the price of natural gas. I suppose this is better than lighting the sky with a methane flare.

  3. stewgreen says:

    So it’s like saying to each consumer

    “Free Cheese Gas will save you £650/year, so can you each pay GreenCorp £1,250/year subsidy

    ( £2million subsidy spread thru 1,600 homes = £1,250 per home
    I think the average UK gas bill is about £650/year )

  4. Bitter& Twisted says:

    All very laudable, But just how much does this gas cost compared with natural gas/shale gas/LPG?
    Rather more, I suspect and not viable without £millions in subsidies.

  5. ivan says:

    I can’t help asking why there is a a lucrative Government subsidy scheme for all these uneconomic green ego massaging non projects.

    If it is uneconomical without the subsidy it is uneconomic!

  6. ren says:

    Abstract
    In this work we study links between low cloud anomalies (LCA) at middle latitudes of the Northern and Southern hemispheres and galactic cosmic ray (GCR) variations used as a proxy of solar variability on the decadal time scale. It was shown that these links are not direct, but realized through GCR/solar activity phenomena influence on the development of extratropical baric systems (cyclones and troughs) which form cloud field. The violation of a positive correlation between LCA and GCR intensity which was observed in the 1980s–1990s occurred simultaneously in the Northern and Southern hemispheres in the early 2000s and coincided with the sign reversal of GCR effects on troposphere circulation. It was suggested that a possible reason for the correlation reversal between cyclonic activity at middle latitudes and GCR fluxes is the change of the stratospheric polar vortex intensity which influences significantly the troposphere-stratosphere coupling. The evidences for a noticeable weakening of the polar vortices in the Arctic and Antarctic stratosphere in the early 2000s are provided. The results obtained suggest an important role of the polar vortex evolution as a reason for a temporal variability of solar activity effects on the lower atmosphere.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682616300979

  7. Brett Keane says:

    Good stuff, Ren.

  8. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I’m sure they can do this with human bodies too. Help the planet, donate your body.

  9. tom0mason says:

    Next project — How to make biogas from feeding an anaerobic digestion plant with millions of paper banknotes — £, $, €, ¥, etc .
    This project’s estimated cost is only 42million Bitcoins through easy to use off-shore accounts in Panama, British Virgin Is., and Luxembourg.

    [reply] don’t give them ideas 🙂

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    Just stupid. Whey is a food. It is usable for making many products, and at worst case makes animal feed. Rotting it and burning the gas is just dumb.

  11. Ned Nikolov says:

    We should remember that anything that the Government subsidizes will grow and gain prominence in both science and society no matter how ridiculous it is. That’s because people tend to go to where the money points… So, it is ultimately the responsibility of Governments not to subsidize stupid ideas.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Ned N: ‘So, it is ultimately the responsibility of Governments not to subsidize stupid ideas.’

    Yes, but sadly our government deleted the ‘not’ in this case.

  13. dennisambler says:

    Whole new meaning to “say cheese and smile”

  14. There are hundreds of these subsidised AD plants across the UK. To maximise output and profit, most of them end up consuming vast quantities of purpose grown crops, such as maize, beet and wheat.

  15. Verity Jones says:

    The Telegraph’s website says it is treating whey permeate (liquid waste after the protein is concentrated by membrane filtration – made into whey powder and butter) and wastewater.

  16. oldbrew says:

    ‘About 60 per cent of that gas is expected to be taken back out of the grid for the creamery’s own use in steam-making’

    ‘Further subsidies will be paid for the electricity produced on site, while the project will also serve to cut the costs of energy and waste disposal at the creamery’

    ‘Lake District Biogas, the developer which is funding the up-front cost of the project, is expected to receive about £2 million a year in subsidies, paid for by consumers through levies on their energy bills, for the next 20 years.’

    The bulk of the benefits here go to the creamery, while the subsidies come from gas and electricity consumers😦

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