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BBSRC welcomes bioenergy strategy

26 April 2012

BBSRC has welcomed the publication of a bioenergy strategy that sets out a framework for ensuring that biomass powering our homes, businesses and transport delivers benefits to businesses and consumers in a drive to meet the UK's low carbon objectives. This is the first time that the importance of bioenergy as part of the energy mix has been articulated in this way.

Bioenergy is expected to play a key role in our ability to meet the 2020 renewables target as well as longer term carbon reduction targets to 2030 and 2050. The UK Bioenergy Strategy, published jointly by DECC, Defra and DfT sets a framework of principles to guide UK bioenergy policy.

The strategy's overarching principle is that bioenergy must be produced sustainably and that there is a role for UK Government to steer sustainable development of bioenergy in the UK and, as far as possible, internationally.

Commenting on the strategy, BBSRC's Bioenergy Champion Duncan Eggar, said: "If we are to replace increasingly resource-scare fossil fuel derived energy with sustainable energy for a growing population we need a coordinated approach that focuses UK opportunities.

"We welcome the strategy's recognition of opportunities from bioenergy accruing from innovation and research. The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre is increasing UK bioenergy research capacity to deliver these opportunities, providing a significant source of clean, low carbon and secure energy from crop residues and non-food biomass crops, and generating new jobs in this industry.

"The strategy paves the way for a future policy direction that is supportive of effective research into second generation biofuels that considers many important issues, such as the relationship between bioenergy and other uses of land, genuine carbon reductions and environmental impacts."

The strategy was delivered alongside a speech by the Prime Minister David Cameron that made the case for clean energy in the UK and globally as he addressed delegates at the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The announcement also highlighted BBSRC and Defra-funded research to produce new commercial varieties of optimised Miscanthus (an important energy crop) to make a significant contribution to future energy security.

The Prime Minister's speech and accompanying announcements underline the importance of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme and its aim to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy Programme is investing more than £530M in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £360M over the past 5 years.


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