RUG does not want biomass plant at Zernike Campus

‘Not sustainable enough’

RUG does not want biomass plant at Zernike Campus

The Groningen municipality wants to keep the option open for a biomass plant at Zernike. The university is set against it, because it believes such a plant isn’t sustainable.
By Koen Marée / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen
29 October om 14:16 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:18 uur.
October 29 at 14:16 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:18 PM.

The RUG has formally objected to the plant, which would burn wood to generate energy. The university says the plant would lead to more CO2 exhaust, when the goal is to decrease it. RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker: ‘The plant doesn’t jibe with the RUG’s ambition to be a CO2-neutral university by 2020.’

The RUG also expects an increase in traffic bringing wood to the plant and points out that burning wood leads to a rise in fine matter, which would lead to bad air quality, affecting people and animals.

‘The RUG operates an animal facility at Zernike and is dead set against the air quality deteriorating, sas it can negatively affect the results of certain experiments’, says Bakker.

Alternative option

In spite of the RUG’s protests, the option for a plant was included in changes to the development plans which will be discussed by the Groningen city council on Wednesday.

But even if the plans are approved, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the biomass plant will be built. Rather, it’s intended to be an alternative option, in case the initiative by energy company WarmteStad to produce energy from the surplus heat of data centres is unsuccessful.

Painted waste wood

The municipality has slightly changed the plans after the university’s objections. If a biomass plant is built, it would not burn any waste wood with paint or any other type of finish on it. 

But the RUG says this isn’t enough. ‘We object against the construction of a biomass plant itself’, says Bakker. 


29 October 2019 | 22-11-2020, 16:18

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