The Dutch have opened the world's largest biomass power plant running exclusively on chicken manure. The $225 million project is owned and operated by multi-utility company Delta. The facility will deliver renewable electricity to 90,000 households. The biomass power plant solves a key environmental problem in the Netherlands: managing the vast excess stream of chicken manure, which, until today, had to be processed at a high cost.
The biomass power plant will utilize approximately 440,000 tons of chicken manure, roughly one third of the total amount produced each year in the Netherlands. Many European countries, including the Netherlands, suffer under an excess of different types of animal manure that pollute the environment. Costly methods are used to avoid it being spread out over land, to process it or to avoid creating the excess in the first place. Using the manure as a carbon-neutral energy source has become the most efficient, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective of all management options.
The biomass power plant is more than merely "carbon neutral". If the chicken manure were to be spread out over farm land, it would release not only CO2, but also methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. By using the manure for power generation, the release of methane is avoided.
The biomass power plant - unique because it exclusively burns chicken manure - has a capacity of 36.5MW, and will generate more than 270 million kWh of electricity per year. The facility is located on the Moerdijk in Zeeland, and will serve approximately 90,000 households.