Bio-mass Boris, the Joker in the pack…
Boris intends to build 98 waste plants and 577 combined heat and power plants as part of London’s low carbon economy (Ernst &Young prospectus, 2009) over the coming years. He has already taken many steps to wreck progress in air quality in London, the most important being the suspension of LEZ 3.
Last week the Institute of Environmental Health in London held an event:
“ A major expansion in biomass heat is underway to help the UK meet its CO2 reduction targets. The air quality impacts are, however, potentially a stumbling block, the successful management of these is key to a sustainable rollout of biomass heat. This event explores how the air quality impacts of biomass can be successfully managed, cover biomass technologies and their emission performance, before examining the regulatory framework and techniques for air quality assessment. Emerging renewable heat and air quality policy will be covered, and the issue of embedding air quality management in the planning process for biomass deployment Topics include: • Policy update (DECC) • Regulation of biomass plant (Environment Agency) • Developing sustainable wood fuel supply chains (Forestry Commission)”
The combination of traffic growth, waste management and combined heat and power are likely to have very detrimental further effects on London’s already poor air. There seems to be no integrated assessment of these changes, but rather a denial of their significance in marketing the capital to the world as a whole, let alone the health of the population.
As population growth is achieved by both densification and a move to the east...not only do current potential energy from waste developments give rise to issues about contaminated land...but also the Victorian "forgotten" industrial legacy gets to be "remembered",often as a surprise!