Avocet advocate for renewable energy amid government announcement
The government has announced the opportunity for UK businesses to apply for a share of £1.5 million in collaboration with US partners on a $40 million offshore wind development programme.
In past years the UK offshore wind energy sector has seen considerable growth, with technological advances allowing for an overall decrease in cost. Despite this, current estimations indicate that wind energy will have to be used ten times more in order to meet the target of zero net emissions by the middle of the century.
Further research is required to improve the efficiency of the farms and to further reduce costs, and part of UK Research and Innovation, Innovate UK, will offer between £150,000 and £600,000 for each successful application.
Their directors, Martin Frost and Bob Jennings, consider renewable energy as 'the driver for the whole Avocet concept,' highlighting how by 'using improved technology, Avocet harvests renewable energy, that is, solar, wind and micro-hydro energy, to produce electricity which when backed up by battery storage can power the chemical and biological processes used by other aspects of the business.'
Renewable energy is used throughout their system, as 'Avocet hydroponics units require climate and humidity control, which is powered by the renewable electricity.'
The company also convert methane from animal excrement into fuel.
Frost and Jennings note that 'conventional methanol production employs combustion of natural gas to reach the high temperatures required for processing the methane gas.'
'Bio-methane is too valuable to be used in this way and the high temperatures required for reaction are achieved electrically using some of the renewable electricity mentioned earlier.'
The conclude that 'additional advantages of the Avocet system are that it is compact, transportable, site ready and can utilise a wide variety of waste feed stocks.'