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Backing British farmers with bioenergy

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

We can use home-grown bioenergy to boost the supply of secure, low-cost, low-carbon energy. That’s the conclusion of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public-private partnership which aims to accelerate low-carbon technologies through research.

With Brexit around the corner, the UK has the opportunity to shape farming regulations to boost UK supply of agricultural biomass, complementing the ready supply of waste wood and agricultural by-products like straw.

The ETI has long been showing the potential for domestic supply of biomass. This report is just the latest instalment. In their words:

Bioenergy is a hugely valuable source of low carbon renewable energy because it can be stored and used flexibly to produce heat, power, liquid and gaseous fuels. When combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS), it has the potential to deliver negative emissions which the ETI anticipates are needed to deliver a cost-effective, low carbon energy system in 2050.

This isn’t just good news for the energy sector, which the ETI shows can rely on ever-increasing resources here in the UK. It also means diversifying incomes for British farmers. In the words of the ETI:

The market for second generation energy crops is nascent. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, there is an opportunity to restructure farming support in a way which provides long-term clarity and support to farmers and encourages the sustainable growth of the UK biomass sector.

You can find the report here, and more about the ETI here.

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