Striking a blow for the energy transition
On 15 November, the first pile will be driven into the ground for the first commercial wood gasification plant in the Netherlands, Bio Energy Netherlands. This plant, which has a modular design, will already produce green heat for district heating and industrial applications and green electricity in 2018. From 2019, the plant will supply hydrogen and CO2 as raw materials for the chemical industry. Its modular design enables the plant to respond flexibly to changes in local demand for its end products.
Its initiators Raoul Witteveen and Robert-Jan van Ogtrop from Bio Energy Netherlands have opted for non-recyclable wood as fuel. This is wood for which there are few other uses than incineration. Gasification is much cleaner than incineration, and leads to 60-70% lower nitrogen and particulate emissions. The non-recyclable wood is sourced in the region and prevents unnecessary transportation of materials. Accordingly, there are no sustainability issues concerning the material.
The energy transition poses two major challenges. The first is the search for electricity that does not depend on the weather. Electricity needs to be available even if there is no wind in the evenings or if the sun is not shining. The second is the search for green molecules as raw material for the chemical industry. In addition, large volumes of gas and oil are used as raw materials for the chemical industry. The gasification plant provides an answer to this challenge. Moreover, the hydrogen can be used in transport and contribute to the goal of zero-emissions driving by 2030 formulated by the Rutte III government.
Former minister Witteveen (Finance) is involved in the project as an adviser. “Some former politicians talk a lot about sustainability, but what is important is to put this into practice. That is what we are doing with this project, which will start delivering sustainable energy within a year.”
Port of Amsterdam welcomes the establishment of Bio Energy Netherlands as a further step towards a sustainable port. Roon van Maanen, Head of Circular & Renewable Industry of Port of Amsterdam: “The establishment of Bio Energy Netherlands is very much in line with the strategy of Port of Amsterdam to expand the generation of sustainable energy in the area. It also offers opportunities for advancing the development of the chemical cluster in the Port of Amsterdam.”
The Amsterdam alderman Abdeluheb Choho, whose responsibilities include sustainability, formally launched the start of construction for Bio Energy Netherlands.