RWE set to complete UK coal-to-biomass conversion

RWE chiefs say they are confident the company’s Lynemouth power plant in England will be transformed from coal to biomass power, despite the decision by RWE Innogy to end its interest in biomass activities.

Spokeseman Stephen Thomas told Platts, “Biomass is no longer seen to be a core technology for RWE Innogy. We will be pulling back on our biomass activities, but that is within Innogy — Lynemouth is not part of Innogy, it is part of RWE Generation.”
“The decision Innogy has taken on biomass has a bigger impact in Germany than in the UK,” Thomas said. “Some Innogy employees involved in biomass activities in Germany have already moved to different parts of the RWE group.”

RWE npower’s Daniel Meredith added that the German utility was “very positive about the Lynemouth conversion,” which has just been shortlisted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change for funding under the Contract for Difference support mechanism.

“This is a large-scale coal conversion and it is good that the UK government has put it on its list. However, there is a lot the government needs to do before we can make an investment decision, not least on the details of the Energy Bill, the costs of CfDs, and how the capacity mechanism will work.”

Lynemouth is one of nine UK projects defined as provisionally affordable by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The projects have received draft investment contracts for ‘Final Investment Decision Enabling’ subsidies.

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