Pioneers in the recycling of organic effluents and sludges using short rotation willow coppice plantations, Rural Generation, recently played host to a delegation of German and Austrian renewable energy experts and academics from one of the world’s leading biomass boiler manufacturers, KWB Biomass Heating Systems. The European delegation came to Northern Ireland on a special fact finding visit with a view to learning from Rural Generation’s unique holistic model.
“The introduction of tighter EU Waste Management Legislation and regulation has meant that it has become increasingly important for organisations to dispose of their waste in a compliant and environmentally sustainable manner,” says Stephan Jantscher, chief executive of KWB Biomass Systems. The delegation was particularly interested in learning about Rural Generation’s work with regards to the development of willow and its usage in waste management processes.
John Gilliland, chairman of Rural Generation, comments: “Willow has a very high transpiration and growth rate and uses up large volumes of nutrients and water as it grows. This system acts as a very effective biofilter, converting useful nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, contained in the waste streams, and reducing the levels of pollutants in the environment. The willow crop is fertilised by the nutrients and is then harvested for wood fuel energy. We provide advice and assistance regarding soil and waste stream suitability and nutrient management planning together with complete willow crop establishment.”