UK biomass farmers hope for a sustainable future

Biomass grown in the UK can deliver high quality, system level greenhouse gas savings and there is now opportunities to restructure farming support in a way which encourages sustainable growth within the biomass sector, which is hugely important.

Bioenergy obtained from biomass and waste already has a significant role in delivering consistently low carbon heat, transport fuels and power within the UK. This new data from ETI shows an analysis highlighting the importance of choosing cost effective reductions within the field.

ETI have worked on many projects to develop a better understanding of just how much biomass can be produced in the UK, through identifying suitable areas, and estimating how much should be dedicated to the bio crops, but finally taking into consideration the outstanding demands for land in the UK currently.

Suggestions have been made to plant approximately 1.4 Mha of second generation bioenergy (e.g Miscanthus, Short rotation Coppice, willow and Short Rotation Forestry) by 2050 would make a significant contribution to ensuring a more efficient overall system. Totaling about 7.5% of total agricultural area in the UK.

As well as this, a steady increase of bioenergy crops grown in the UK would mean that the sector would learn by doing, and in turn develop best practice. Monitoring and managing impact on the other markets and environmental factors.

These actions will help to build a substantial energy crops sector whilst conveniently balancing demand for land use from other sectors, which will require more productivity in land as well as offering a lower food waste total through the supply chain.