‘Not sustainable enough’
RUG does not want biomass plant at Zernike Campus
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.
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.