Intention to suspend this blog

Anyone looking at this blog will notice there has not been any activity recently. The group that was looking after energy coordination at UHI has been disbanded so the few staff left have not prioritized this blog as a means of communication, and for the foreseeable future this will not change.

It is not our intention to update this blog during 2014, but we will be leaving it in it’s current state until we can resurrect it. We will concentrate our announcements (albeit of a shorter and more general research nature) on the UHI Research Twitter feed – please visit us at:

UHI Research Twitter-logo-011-web

Biomass event in Forres

Wednesday 2 May, 10.00 am to 2.00 pm, Burgie House, Burgie Estate, Forres

A free Biomass Heat Demonstration Day run by HWEnergy, Saffery Champness and Scottish Land & Estates has been announced to help pull together local expertise in biomass and create a networking opportunity.

This demonstration event will allow you to see and hear about biomass systems working in practice and to discuss operating a domestic biomass system.

The event will consist of presentations on:

  • Biomass systems and RHI;
  • Tax efficient holding structures;
  • Forestry and fuel production;
  • Finances; and
  • Funding and planning permissions.
  • For more information contact


    Solid Waste Powered Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration

    Canadian fuel specialist, Ballard Power Systems, has partnered with GS Platech a subsidiary of GS Caltex – one of South Korea’s largest petroleum refiners – to produce hydrogen from municipal solid waste to power zero-emission fuel cells.

    GS Platech’s pilot plant in Cheongsong, South Korea is capable of treating 5 tons (4.53 tonnes) of organic solid waste per day using plasma gasification technology, and producing sufficient high purity hydrogen to generate 50 kW of clean power.

    Ballard will supply the fuel cell generator, based on its Dantherm Power DBX5000 technology. The partnership claims that this will be the first demonstration of a waste to energy solution incorporating these technologies together.

    This will be the first demonstration of a waste-to-energy solution incorporating these technologies together. Upon successful demonstration of the solution, GS Platech intends to further promote it to new customers worldwide.

    The treatment of municipal solid waste is a growing problem in many nations, including Asia Pacific countries with particularly high population densities such as China, India, Korea, Japan and Singapore. This solution can potentially allow municipalities to address two key environmental issues in tandem:environmentally responsible waste treatment as well as clean power production.

    Link to the full news release

    Woodfuel Task Force 2 – Update Report to Scottish Ministers, March 2011

    In July 2011, Scottish Ministers reconvened the Wood Fuel Task Force, made up of key stakeholders from across Government and the forest, land use and energy industries, to review progress since the first Wood Fuel Task Force reported in 2008. The Task Force was asked to assess progress against the first report, consider further issues of supply and demand and look again at estimates of wood fibre volumes in Scotland.

    The updated report shows around 432,000 odt of wood is potentially available from all sources of wood fibre. This could double over the next 10 years if forecast timber volumes are brought to market. This is significantly less than the previous estimate mainly due to improved estimates of wood waste availability and increased demand for wood fibre.

    The volumes identified could make a substantial contribution to the Scottish Government’s renewable heat target but clearly show that we need to make best use of this important resource.

    Full report available via this link
    Or read the summary assessment on the Forestry Commission website

    Marine Biofuels from SAMS UHI

    The Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass project, BioMara, is a new UK and Irish joint project (a spin-off from SAMS UHI) that aims to demonstrate the feasibility and viability of producing third generation biofuels from marine biomass.

    The science will investigate macroalgae (seaweeds) and microalgae (single-celled plants) for their potential to provide sustainable fuel. (See Overview for more information.) In addition, the project will study the environmental, social and economic impacts of using marine biofuel.