BioPAD partners are all back home again and working hard to implement the decisions made on the Scottish Trip.
We had an excellent visit to Scotland. We had met up in Inverness and were driven to Thurso to see the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) where our Scottish partners are based. ERI is housed in a modern sustainable building designed to have as small an environmental foot print as possible while meeting the needs of an organisation involved in practical fieldwork as part of its high level research.
We then visited a our first case study location a District Heating Plant in Wick, also in Caithness in the North of Scotland. The plant uses wood chip combustion to supply steam to the local distillery (which makes Old Pulteney whisky) and heat to a network of houses in Wick. The difficulties previously faced by the plant and the solutions that are now in place were discussed. Plans are in place to expand this network further and increase use of heat from bioenergy.
A long drive through the heart of Northern Scotland brought us to Ullapool where we caught the ferry to Lewis, the northern most of the Western Isles. Our second case study was a large Anaerobic Digestion plant used to convert organic waste from households on the islands to biogas which is used in a CHP plant. This visit in particular highlighted the difficulties of remote areas in relation to waste management and energy production where distance and transportation costs can be prohibitive.
We managed to take in a cultural visit to the famous Callanish stones before returning to mainland Scotland and the continuation of the BioPAD partner meeting which had been taking place on the ferry to and from Lewis. The meeting was held in Findhorn at the spiritual community ecovillage. At the meeting further decisions were made about the case studies, the dissemination strategy and the Bioenergy Supply Chain Tool.
It was a busy few days, with early starts and much travelling, but it was very interesting and productive for BioPAD.