SNP MP Martyn Day visited the UK’s largest waste wood-powered biomass plant to understand the critical role of biomass in producing renewable energy.
The Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and East Falkirk was shown around RWE’s £300 million (€340.2m) biomass combined heat and power (CHP) facility at Markinch in Fife, Scotland.
The tour took place on 10 February, and was organised by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA), in association with Biomass UK, as part of the WRA’s ongoing MP engagement work to improve understanding of the wood recycling industry.
RWE Markinch is powered by 400,000 tonnes of biomass fuel per year, 90% of which is made up of recovered waste wood which is not suitable for recycling and might otherwise be sent to landfill, while the remaining 10% is forestry residue.
Originally built to provide heat and power to the Tullis Russell Papermill before it closed, the 55MW power plant now provides electricity to the grid and district heating to local homes and businesses.
Day learnt how the Markinch plant contributes to the UK’s net zero ambitions by diverting waste wood from landfill and providing sustainable baseload energy.
The MP said: “It was a pleasure to visit the RWE Biomass CHP plant today and to hear how the plant produces renewable energy from recycled waste wood and provides heat for the local community. This is a brilliant example of how Scotland is leading the way in renewable energy and the low carbon economy.”
WRA chair Richard Coulson said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Day to RWE Markinch. This plant perfectly demonstrates how using recovered waste wood to generate energy has massive environmental benefits and is a great example of the circular economy in action.
“Waste wood is a valuable domestic fuel and plays a vital role in providing reliable, baseload power as part of the wider renewable energy mix.”