Beckton – London’s eco power house

BORIS Johnson has pressed the button to begin work on an £80 million recycling plant to transform household rubbish into electricity for 15,000 homes across East London.

Britain’s first large-scale advanced gasification plant will turn 100,000 tonnes of waste into nearly 20 megawatts of ‘green’ energy a year when it opens in 2013.

This facility will take our everyday rubbish and miraculously transform it into electricity,” Boris enthused. “People can rest easy knowing their rubbish will be used to power their homes instead of being dumped in a landfill site and emitting harmful greenhouse gas emissions. ”

Published: February 8, 2011

New York City’s sewage presents a daunting and costly challenge: it creates foul odours and often contaminates waterways. For the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, which is to issue its strategy on Wednesday, it is a shift. Until now, the agency has mainly played the role of water utility and environmental steward rather than energy producer.

But like other cities around the country looking to reduce both the costs of sewage treatment and disposal and the heat-trapping greenhouse gases emitted in the process, New York is beginning to look at its waste as an untapped resource.

Heating fuel can be extracted from sludge and butanol, an alternative fuel to gasoline, from the algae generated by wastewater. Sewage treatment plants could sell methane gas to provide power to homes. Such projects represent a more sustainable long-term approach to managing a wastewater treatment process that costs the city about $400 million annually, not including capital investments.

“The Netherlands has a climate change plan that anticipates two centuries ahead”

Just wondering if Beckton has been envisioned as a major energy resource? Sometimes there is a wondrous pong there, that should be marketed as Eau de Beckton. Nearby is the River Thames, the University of East London, Ford, Tate and Lyle and many many major industries.

Where is the strategic energy planning for combined heat and power, tidal and hydro from the Thames, the district energy systems, the solar and wind farms as well as seriously using our sewage and waste as chemical feed stock and as gas? Geothermal?

If we seriously want an Olympic legacy, why isn’t Beckton understood as key to revolutionary change to turn London into the world’s leading eco-city?

I am a member of the London Access Forum that looks at major planning applications from an inclusive perspective. We urgently need detailed strategic London wide energy planning. Using our existing systems is an excellent starting point.

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