Riding the wave: how flow machines could replace battery storage in the UK

Image: redT energy.

As the UK storage market continues to evolve, the fast moving nature of business models – previously led by large-scale projects reliant on grid services – is already bringing with it some big name casualties.

Last week saw the news that Camborne Energy Storage, one of the first UK-based developers of battery storage projects, had appointed administrators earlier this summer after running into financial difficulties.

With changes to National Grid’s procurement practices, combined with de-rating in the Capacity Market impacting revenues for short duration batteries that had become the mainstay of UK projects, more niche technologies are beginning to come to the fore.

RedT energy recently agreed a supply deal with Anglian Water, which will use its flow machine energy storage units to optimise the solar generation at one of its water treatment sites, in what the company has called ‘a pathfinder for future projects’.

Building long-term, low risk infrastructure

Unlike batteries, flow machines offer longer periods of discharge duration over far more prolonged project lifetimes and for redT chief executive Scott McGregor, the company’s offering brings something new to the UK market.

“Batteries have been promoted in the sector but they're very short term and they're not secure on revenues. What we're doing here is essentially building infrastructure on site so it's a very low risk investment that essentially allows the water utility to double - or more - their solar on site, which is a key target across this sector,” he explained.

“It allows them to more quickly achieve their renewable targets and solar is essentially cheap cash flow for our model, and because we have five hours of storage we can capture more of it and reduce their energy costs.”

Unlike the lithium-ion technologies that have dominated the market, 80% of redT’s project revenues do not rely on grid services, allowing them to dodge the uncertainty that has challenged other large scale storage providers.

McGregor continued: "People go with a solution because of the risk profile, which for frequency response is that it is clearly going to be oversupplied which we've been saying for years. It's not really energy storage, it's just voltage management so what we're doing here is completely different to what the battery market is doing.

“This is all low risk infrastructure which allows for true distributed energy behind the meter and it's great for the solar industry because we double or more the solar on site…We're all tied to that generation behind the meter and reducing the full energy costs to Anglian, whereas the battery market to date has been looking at speculative short term policy revenues on the grid side.

“There will always be grid services but the nature of those will depend on policy and different matters within stakeholders. The capex on ours when you're looking at solar and storage is quite a low risk investment so it’s not the key issue that these customers will look. This will sit there for 25 years and not need to be replaced."

“Completely different to a battery”

Over this period, the flow machines are able to de-risk the investment of both its own install but also that of solar, ensuring as much generation as possible can be used efficiently on site. The technology is also suited to high usage owing to its lack of degradation compared to battery storage which can suffer under heavy use.

“Where what we sell as a storage machine is completely different to a battery is that we want to use it as much of the day as possible. It doesn't have safety, heat or degradation issues so you want to maximise your use by sizing it as small as possible with as much solar going into it,” McGregor went on.

“The way the battery industry works is you want to buy lots and lots of cheap cells but then minimise how you use them because you've got to be careful because of safety and degradation. So we have the opposite approach - we don't want to protect the machine, we want to use it.”

Met with ‘welcome arms’

This use case has led redT to develop a proposition specifically for the water utilities sector, addressing what McGregor estimates to be 9,000 sites nationwide with high energy costs, isolated power supplies and renewable energy targets.

“It's clear they have room to put on solar and storage because they're at the end of the distribution line and have the biggest gain to make from storage. It's also a sector that invests in infrastructure.

“We've essentially built a purpose built solution for that sector right now and obviously what we're providing [is being met] by a lot of welcome arms. We're very diligent on our business models and our durability so we've built a purpose built solution at the moment and that's what we're focused on rolling out,” he said.

With discussions ongoing, and on the back of a 700MWh portfolio order in Germany, McGregor is focused on scale with some sites being looked at for up to 2MW/10MWh behind the meter installations.

"I firmly believe we have the best business models for infrastructure energy storage in the UK. We really look at the demand load, how we can really reduce the energy bills and put in the long term solution.

“We don't design things for short term policy and that's quite key because we know the energy sector changes constantly. None of us can predict what will happen in the next two years so we're trying to de-risk investment into renewable infrastructure.”


Danish MEP: ‘Fight continues’ for renewable energy in Europe

The 32% renewable energy objective for 2030 agreed at the EU level in June was a good result, says Jeppe Kofod, but it’s still insufficient to live up to the Paris accord, he told EURACTIV in an interview, setting out the agenda for clean energy battles in the years ahead.

Jeppe Kofod is a Danish Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) group. On 20 June, he was appointed acting president of the European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources (EUFORES) after his predecessor, MEP Claude Turmes, was appointed to a ministerial position in Luxembourg. Kofod spoke to EURACTIV’s energy and environment editor, Frédéric Simon.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

  • EU should update its economic modelling to reflect falling costs of renewables as well as the cost of non-action on climate change
  • Upcoming Baltic Sea manifesto will help further the energy transition in Poland
  • Priority dispatch for renewables is the single most important issue in the upcoming market design reform
  • Much stronger ACER needed to create a real market for energy across borders

***

What was your impression when the deal was struck on the Renewable Energy Directive last June? The 32% objective is higher than the 27% target initially tabled by the Commission so I suppose you must have been happy?

I was happy to see that we managed to move the target up quite a bit, despite resistance in the Council. That was good. But I wouldn’t hide that, if I see the challenge we have in our climate policy to live up to the Paris accord, I think we should have done much more.

So 35% or even more than that?

35% at least. If you look at the technology aspect, renewables are much cheaper to produce today than when the Commission tabled its proposal [in November 2016]. Wind turbines are more efficient, they run longer and produce more electricity than before. So not only do the costs come down but at the same time, the quality and the efficiency of renewables increases drastically.

This is why I think we should have done more. But given the political context and the reluctance of the Council, I think it was a good result. So I’m proud but I’m not satisfied.

That said, the fight continues. There is a review clause in the directive, and on top of that when the EU looks at its mid-century strategy, the Commission needs to review the modelling that it is using, to update it so that it reflects the real costs of renewables, which are much lower than before, as well as the efficiency, which has improved.

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Looking back at the 32% deal, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the agreed directive?

The binding 32% target and the review clause – that’s good. And also the fact that we have a deal – this is important on a political level as a way to push the Council, which has been reluctant.

But I don’t understand why we don’t update our models. Today, it’s cheaper to build a new offshore wind farm than a coal power plant. We know that. So I don’t understand why the Commission’s models don’t reflect this.

The Commission did something exceptional when it updated the figures in its own impact assessment, right in the middle of the negotiation process, which is quite unusual…

Yes, but they were under huge pressure because the numbers had changed so much. In Denmark, for instance, the price of electricity dropped considerably because of offshore wind. So the Commission had to update its old figures and reflect the real costs of renewables.

Should the Commission do that on a regular basis? Costs are falling so fast, it’s becoming hard for policymakers to keep up…

Yes, but not just for the Commission. Member states in the Council keep complaining that the costs of renewables are too high. But when the cost-benefit analysis is based on figures that are not accurate, then of course it looks more expensive. That’s wrong, so we need to update those figures more frequently.

And we need a much stronger policy for a just transition, helping to get out of fossil fuels and into renewables, especially in regions with traditional energy industries. There, we need policies at European level.

There is the platform for coal regions in transition which was launched by the European Commission in December last year.

Yes, it’s a good, concrete initiative that needs to be followed up. And I think we should put more money into this, frankly speaking. Because some of the reluctance in the Council is coming from those very countries which are very reliant on coal.

…which is understandable when you see that Poland relies on coal for more than 80% of their electricity.

They need a real strategy with a sequencing to see themselves out of the coal dependency that they have. And they need real solidarity from the rest of the EU. We cannot look at the renewable energy directive in isolation, we need to look at other related policies such as interconnectors, market design, etc. We need a truly integrated union where energy doesn’t stop at borders and flows freely.

When it comes to a country like Poland, they are already heavily integrated, they have created a lot of jobs in the renewable industry. And we need to further facilitate that, for example by showing how offshore wind in the Baltic Sea can help further the energy transition in Poland.

You mentioned solidarity for Poland and other coal-dependent countries. But the scale of the transformation there can be huge and could involve substantial financial transfers from countries like Denmark for example. Is that acceptable politically?

It depends what types of transfers you’re talking about. Part of it should be public money, for example, the InvestEU programme, to fund renewables.

But the bulk of it should come from private money. If you put the right design around investments and give the right incentives such as labelling for sustainable investment – if think that will help a lot of countries like Poland.

And yes, a country like Denmark will have to invest some public money. But in return, you get to harvest the benefits.

So what could be the benefits for Denmark? New business for companies like Vestas, for example?

Yes, very much so. In my country, we have a legacy of state-run funds which were put in place in the 1990s under social democratic governments. That initially involved big amounts of money but they proved to be good business for Denmark. So it’s a short-term investment but a long-term benefit.

Isn’t the EU Single Market sufficient to guarantee investments? There are supposedly no borders for investors in Europe so a Danish company like Vestas is free to invest in Poland.

Yes, but we should still create the right conditions. For example in the North Sea, we agreed years ahead that we wanted an integrated electricity grid and we designed a framework for that. And investors said ‘Wow, that’s interesting!’ There was a political commitment and a detailed plan for 2030, which created the right conditions for investment.

And EU money can help getting started?

Exactly. There are a lot of initiatives coming together now – the InvestEU programme, or the initiative on labelling of sustainable investments that could help a lot. And I know they would be perfectly happy to invest if the framework was right.

To conclude on the renewables directive, when will be the next opportunity to strengthen the 32% target at the EU level?

We have the review clause in 2023. So five years ahead, we’ll need to take stock of the technology developments, the real cost evolution, and the climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. And the review can only go upwards – that’s important.

So I’m optimistic because I think we will see exponential growth, with the technology beginning to take off more rapidly than we had imagined. The linear thinking that we are sometimes locked into is just not suitable for renewables.

And there could be other breakthroughs, for example in the transportation sector. So I think we’ll have an opportunity to beef up the target.

The next big EU policy initiative coming up for a potential final agreement this year is the new market design for electricity. What are the main issues you will be watching?

Priority dispatch for renewables is the single most important issue. And the regional integration of markets. We need this cross-border market integration to show that we can trust each other and remove artificial barriers or bottlenecks to transfers of energy.

And the Nordic model for electricity is a perfect example that it works: when you integrate more, the prices come down, the share of renewables goes up, and security of supply is maintained but at a much lower cost.

That implies building new infrastructure, right?

New infrastructure, yes. But also making real use of the current infrastructure because TSOs can decide to block access to their network. Sometimes this is done based on the legitimate security of supply concerns. But at other times, they are simply protecting their national market.

And therefore, in the market design, we need stronger regulation that will create a real market for energy across borders. We’re talking about the EU single market but we still don’t have a real single market for energy.  And that seems crazy to me.

We also see that national regulators sometimes work against the common European interest. So we need to have a stronger ACER to ensure they cannot do that, to put limits on what national regulators can block. We need to build trust between member states in this regard. And I believe very much in regional initiatives to do that, as I said. Of course, we should have a European perspective but at the same time, we have to recognise that we also need a step-by-step approach because countries need to trust each other more.

Regional centres for electricity trading already exist. So what’s missing?

A much stronger ACER, to put it shortly. And a stronger market surveillance system at European level. We need to be much clearer on what the obstacles are so we can remove them. And when it comes to renewables, we need to be able to prioritise some forms of energies over others, through priority dispatch. If we don’t, then we will end up being locked up into old fossil fuels, which is among the concerns I have.

As part of the market design reform, changes are also being made to so-called capacity mechanisms for electricity. These have often been portrayed as subsidies for coal or gas-fired power plants that would otherwise not be profitable because they provide only back-up capacity on an intermittent basis. Is that the way you see it or is that a caricature?

No, I think it’s true to a large extent. In Denmark, we had the same discussion years ago. If we have a well-integrated market, there are many technological solutions that can help us eliminate the need for capacity mechanisms – demand-side management, energy storage, etc.

To be frank, sometimes I think it’s the old energy industry trying to maintain some plants running and get some of their costs covered.

Is there something in the capacity market reform that could further encourage renewables?

The first is to totally get rid of bottlenecks between borders and within countries. Secondly, to look at the capacity that each and every user can provide to the grid – for example, an electric car that can bring capacity at night when it’s standing in the garage.

And we also need to look at battery technologies. My concern there is that China is moving into this market like they did with solar PV. What the EU should do is to invest not only in battery production capacity but sustainable batteries that can be dismantled and re-used. So there is a lot to do but I think we can do it.

More complex, we should try to aim for a system-wide approach. In some countries, we see great success with district heating systems where you can integrate electricity – heat pumps, water storage, etc. If we produce a lot of wind, in the future we can also turn that into a fuel – hydrogen.

So there are a lot of things that we can do but we need an overall strategy to do that. And there, I don’t believe in the need for huge capacity markets based on old types of fossil fuel power plants standing there as a reserve.

You think capacity mechanisms should be completely eliminated over time?

Yes.

When is a realistic date for that?

That’s a good question. But like I said, technology is helping us, an integrated systems approach is helping us, and also using capacity provided by consumers – households or industry.

Fabien Roques: EU needs adaptable electricity ‘capacity’ schemes

So-called “capacity mechanisms” are being set up across EU member states to remunerate power stations that remain on standby in case of demand peak. While a European framework is needed to regulate those schemes, Fabien Roques believes they should be adapted to local circumstances. EURACTIV.fr reports.

In the electricity market design discussion, concerns have been raised about small-scale solar PV producers being told to respect the same kind of market rules and obligations as big energy utilities. Is that an issue that you consider now solved?

It’s still on the table right now and it’s an issue I will be watching for. The energy union should be owned by the citizens. So if someone wants to put solar PV on their roof and want to be part of the energy transition, they should be able to do it without too many obstacles.

I understand the value of large-scale – also renewable – energy production. But that should go hand-in-hand with local energy production, which is generally more efficient. So I think we should have both.

At the same time, we need ownership. The climate-consciousness of people is growing rapidly, which is good. And we need to give people the incentives to act on a small scale.

Your predecessor as EUFORES President was Claude Turmes. What was his biggest achievement in your view?

His biggest achievement was that he stood up against the old fossil fuel industry. He showed to the world and to other Members of the European Parliament that there is a future in renewables and energy efficiency in a way that benefits society, and brings jobs to the economy.

The green energy technology sector in Europe now employs around 8-9 million people. So he showed that the transition is possible. And that we can have a long-term vision to totally change our energy system, going step-by-step.

Part of his legacy is that he also managed to create a community around EUFORES – electricity producers from wind to solar, research institutions, universities, but also cities, regions and local governments. He managed to bring people around our objective to change the whole energy system and push forward Europe’s climate policy.

We have MEPs from all major political families as well as national MPs. And we do national workshops with people working on energy policy in all of the member states’ parliaments, transposing our objectives and EU directives into national politics. And that’s something nobody else is doing.

What will be your priority as the new president of Eufores?

We will go in the election cycle very soon. Until then, our big priority will be the Baltic Sea manifesto to show how offshore wind can bring clean electricity to the countries around the Baltic, including Poland and the Visegrad Four countries. We want to help these countries work together and share their technology and experience. Then, there are concrete files like electricity market design.

What’s next after that?

Next is the European Commission’s strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

And there, I would say two things. First, the modelling of the Commission should be accurate, like I explained earlier.

But I also want the Commission to calculate the cost of non-action. Too often, the political debate is focused on the short-term cost of climate action. But what is the cost of non-action? What is the cost to society if temperatures rise above 2°C? That is the kind of calculation I’d like to see. And that fits well with the mid-century strategy.


Scotland’s floating turbine smashes tidal renewable energy records

A floating tidal stream turbine off the coast of Orkney has produced more green energy in a year than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector produced in the 12 years before it came online.

In 12 months of full-time operation, the SR2000 turbine supplied the equivalent annual power demand of about 830 households.

Its developer claimed the machine – the most powerful of its kind in the world – had set a benchmark for its industry due to its performance.

It produced 3GWh of renewable electricity during its first year of testing at the European Marine Energy Centre.

Over the 12 years before its launch in 2016, wave and tidal energies across Scotland had collectively produced 2.983GWh, according to Ofgem.

Andrew Scott, chief executive officer of developers Scotrenewables Tidal Power, said: “The SR2000’s phenomenal performance has set a new benchmark for the tidal industry.

“Its first year of testing has delivered a performance level approaching that of widely deployed mature renewable technologies.”

He added: “The ability to easily access the SR2000 for routine maintenance has been a significant factor in our ability to generate electricity at such levels over the past 12 months, including over winter.”

The team at Scotrenewables said their success – combined with Meygen’s generation of more than 8GWh over the past year from four tidal turbines deployed in the Pentland Firth – is evidence that tidal power generation could be rolled out more widely.

Hannah Smith, senior policy manager at trade body Scottish Renewables, said: “This milestone for the tidal energy industry truly demonstrates the untapped potential of this emerging sector.

“Scotland’s remarkable marine energy resource has placed us front and centre in developing this industry with global potential.

“To keep driving progress it’s critical that both Scottish and UK governments recognise the potential of these technologies and work with industry to fully commercialise these innovations.”

Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, added: “As we transition to a wholly renewable electricity system, it’s really important that we have a diversity of renewable electricity sources.

“We’ve seen huge growth in onshore wind and offshore wind over recent years, and it’s great to see new tidal technologies now hitting new milestones.”


Arensis secures funding to develop UK renewable energy projects

Los Angeles-based Arensis, an international provider of distributed energy systems, announces the financial close of £13.5 million in debt funding ($17 million) from Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments Ltd., a London Stock Exchange listed fund. The funding was secured for renewable energy facilities in the U.K., expanding the company’s growth and global operations.

“We seek to identify investments with attractive risk/return profiles supported by robust assets, appropriate control, strong management teams and strong value propositions,” stated Marc Bajer, CEO of Hadrian’s Wall Capital, the investment adviser to HWSIL. “Arensis has exciting potential and we are pleased to support their expansion in the U.K.”

Arensis provides the first truly decentralized hardware/software IOT based microgrid solution, converting local organic and inorganic biomass waste into renewable energy 24/7. In the last 12 months, Arensis purchased two underperforming U.K. wood pellet production facilities, saving U.K. jobs and quickly turning each of the plant operations around by installing its biomass-to-energy technology. The strategy was completed by vertically integrating a fuel supply in the U.K. for heating that replaces natural gas with renewable resources. Funding will be used for loan refinancing and to complete the integration of 52 Entrade units into the pellet production facilities. Financing at this scale was possible by de-risking the project with long-term fiber supply and offtake agreements, all within the U.K.

“The projects will produce [approximately] 85 GWh of thermal energy per year, helping the U.K. prevent at least 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually,” stated Arensis Corporate Investment Director Tony Morberg. “Not only is this a benefit for the local environment but the integration of our technology is forecast to reduce production costs by over 20 percent.”

“Our financing agreement with Hadrian’s Wall demonstrates our fiscal credibility with institutional capital providers and marks the largest project financing to date for Arensis,” stated Arensis Chief Financial Officer Nick Tarditti. “Hadrian’s Wall Capital conducted exhaustive legal, technical, operational and financial due diligence and I’m very proud of our team for accomplishing this milestone transaction. We are all thrilled with the outcome and the new partnership with HWSIL.”

In addition to target customers including electricity generation facilities, manufacturing facilities, agriculture and food processing plants, automotive manufacturers and EV charging stations, local farming communities, data centers and commercial and residential buildings, Arensis is making a global impact as a provider of energy access to remote regions and rural areas currently without grid access to electricity or natural gas. Additionally, Arensis is bringing relief support to those most impacted by climate change. The decentralized energy units offer an off-grid disaster relief solution when the electrical grid goes down in a natural disaster.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to our partners, our advisers Bridge & York Capital Partners, and Hadrian’s Wall Capital for helping us complete our vision of vertically integrating U.K. pellet plant production utilizing biomass resources that are both local and sustainable,” stated Arensis CEO Julien Uhlig. “The culmination of putting together the right partners, the right team and the right technology has set us up on a production path for success in the U.K. and continued growth globally.”


Residents raise concerns over noise from Fife biomass plant

A Markinch residents group has called on Fife Council to take action over the noise being emitted by the biomass plant.

Markinch Residents’ Noise Forum and organisation Biofuelwatch claim figures submitted by RWE in a new planning application prove it is exceeding the noise limit set in the original planning application for the plant.

However, RWE said the figures include local noise sources such as the A92 and that the plant was not even operating on the day the figures were taken.

In response to concerns about the noise levels of the biomass plant, Fife Council says it will investigate this in parallel with the processing of RWE’s new planning application.

Markinch resident Lorna Ross said: “Since 2014, people living in Prestonhall, Mount Frost and Cadham have seen their quality of life and in some cases their health affected by noise from the biomass power plant.”

However, Mark Picton, Markinch CHP biomass site manager, said: “Markinch CHP biomass plant must adhere to strict conditions set within its operational permit for emissions to air, water and noise.

“The noise level set for the plant by planning conditions is 45dB(A), as part of the regular noise assessment required by regulator SEPA we can confirm that the plant has not exceeded the noise limit and we are not in breach of our operational permit.

“It is noted the background readings quoted include all local noise sources such as the A92 and in fact during the times when the background readings were recorded the plant was not in operation.”

RWE’s new application for a reserve generation peaker plant site has received a negative reaction from locals.

The site would house 10 containerised reciprocating gas engines, with a capacity of 19.9MW.

Almost 100 comments of objection have been submitted about its plans for the site.

Concerns about this application were vented at a heated public meeting in Markinch last month.


UK researcher seek to develop new green hydrogen power source

The clean energy source from hydrogen is being created using screen-printed nanotech

UK researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University have announced their efforts to develop a new green hydrogen power source by using screen-printed nanotechnology. The resulting hydrogen will ultimately be transferred into fuel cells to create electricity whenever it is required.

The goal is to provide remote communities with an affordable form of alternative energy.

The research team hopes that the green hydrogen power source they plan to develop will benefit remote communities. If they are successful, the new power source could be a cleaner and affordable alternative to the current fossil-fuel based power sources.

Presently, these fossil-fuels, such as diesel and gasoline, are not only carbon-heavy, but they are costly because they need to be imported to these remote area.

“This is the perfect opportunity to explore whether we can produce a less polluting alternative to current fossil fuel-based energy techniques,” said Research associate Dr Samuel Rowley-Neale, reported Power Technology.

The new green hydrogen power source is created using an innovative process.

The researchers developed a way to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, by screen-printing electrodes that are then utilized as electrolysers to separate the water into its two components.

More specifically, the team, led by Craig Banks, a professor in electrochemical and nanotechnology, screen print electrodes utilizing graphene-like nanotechnology embedded in a carbon-based fluid printer ink. The electrodes can be printed in various shapes and can be mass produced.

The hydrogen that results will be used for storage or transportation to eventually be fed into fuel cells to generate electricity. According to the researchers, the hydrogen energy source is more efficient compared to other forms of renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy.

“This will put Manchester Metropolitan at the forefront of renewable energy research as it helps to tackle climate change by enabling off-grid clean and cost effective hydrogen production,” said Rowley-Neale about the project.

Electrode development will begin at Manchester Metropolitan University during the next six months. This will be followed by the installation of the electrolyser stack in Scotland and connection to a renewable energy system. From green Hydrogen power source - Research Labthere, the technology will be tested for six months.

The team was awarded a £100,000 research grant from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to pursue the development of the green hydrogen power source.


UK government releases 2017 renewable energy statistics

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The U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently released updated energy statistics, reporting that electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 19 percent between 2016 and 2017, reaching 99.3 terawatt hours (TWh).

Overall in 2017, 10.2 percent of total U.K. energy consumption came from renewable sources, up from 9.2 percent in 2016. Renewable electricity represented 27.9 percent of total generation, renewable heat reached 7.7 percent of overall heat, and renewables in transport reached 4.6 percent.

Generation from bioenergy and waste increased by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching 31.9 TWh. Bioenergy and waste capacity increased by 5.1 percent, reaching 6 GW. Of this increase, 69 percent was from plant biomass, with 36 percent from energy-from-waste, and 22 percent from anaerobic digestion.

Generation from plant biomass grew by 6.6 percent or 1.2 TWh, reaching 20.1 TWh in 2017. The growth is attributed to a 7.1 percent increase in capacity. New stations include 20.2 MW Mersey Bioenergy Widnes Biomass CHP, 40 MW Margam REP, 14.37 MW Mepalchp, and 17.32 MW Liberty Steel Lochaber. The load factor for plant biomass generation facilities was 79 percent.

Anaerobic digestion generation increased by 19 percent, reaching 2.5 TWh. Anaerobic digestion capacity also increased by 7.9 as a result of 93 new sites being identified. Load factors for anaerobic digestion facilities reached 63.2 percent.

Energy from waste generation increased by 24 percent, reaching 3.4 TWh, while capacity increased by 6.1 percent. The load factor for these facilities was 37.2 percent.

Generation from landfill gas fell by 8.9 percent to 4.3 TWh.

Animal biomass generation and capacity were largely unchanged from 2016 to 2017, with 06 TWh of generation and 0.1 GW of capacity.

Renewable heat generation increased by 3.6 percent last year, reaching 5,222 kilotonne of oil equivalent (ktoe). Of that increase, 83 percent was from plant biomass. Domestic wood combustion accounted for the largest share of renewable heat, at 40 percent.