UK biomass strategy

May 2007

This strategy brings together current government policies on biomass for industry, energy and transport and provides a framework for the development of biomass as a whole. It recognises that the EU and wider international policies will have an important influence on the use of biomass. In particular the EU recently agreed:
1) A 20% share of renewable energies in overall EU energy consumption by 2020;
2) A 10% minimum target to be achieved by all Member States for the share of biofuels in overall EU transport petrol and diesel consumption by 2020, to be introduced in a cost-efficient way.
This target is subject to several factors: sustainable biofuels production;, the commercial availability of second-generation biofuels and amendment of the Fuel Quality Directive as to allow for adequate levels of blending.Agreement on specific renewables targets is still pending for individual Member States. These will take into account the different national starting points, including the existing level of renewable energies and the current energy mix. The Government’s strategy for biomass is intended to:
Realise a major expansion in the supply and use of biomass in the UK; facilitate the development of a competitive and sustainable market and supply chain;promote innovation and low-carbon technology development so biomass can deliver relatively higher energy yields;contribute to overall environmental benefits and the health of ecosystems through the achievement of multiple benefits from land use; facilitate a shift towards a bio-economy through sustainable growth and development of biomass use; maximise the potential of biomass to contribute to the delivery of our climate change and energy policy goals, to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse emissions, and achieve a secure, competitive and affordable supply of fuel.
In developing the strategy to deliver these objectives, the use of biomass across the different energy and renewable materials sectors should be identified accordingly. In particular there should be focus on:
1) where biomass can most cost-effectively contribute to decarbonising energy supply;
2) how biomass can best be used to help meet the UK’s renewable energy targets;
3) how biomass can be used to develop renewable materials and products e.g. plant based pharmaceuticals, renewable construction materials and renewable chemicals;
4) how biomass can help deliver low carbon transport.

By: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA, UK)

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