Tilbury B power station is a former coal power plant in Essex, East of London and has been in operation since 1968. The plant was converted to biomass in 2011 to burn wood pellets imported from the USA and has a generating capacity of 750 megawatts. It is currently the largest biomass electricity generating facility in the world and will operate until 2015 when it will close due to the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) (2001/80/EC) coming into effect.
There is some controversy over the use of biomass as a means of electricity generation, including claims that, although it is in theory renewable and thus more sustainable, it is not significantly cleaner than combustion of mineral fuels such as coal. However production of timber specifically for this can offset the carbon emissions produced from combustion and Tilbury B has the advantage of being able to have fuel unloaded in bulk from large vessels at the adjoining jetty.
Carbon capture technology can further reduce the carbon emissions associated with biomass combustion thus at the very least making it a suitable option for transitional power generation until other renewable energy technologies become more widespread and lower in cost.
This and other images of Tilbury power station are available to licence from Dunmaglas Photography