Renewable Energy: Bioenergy

Biomass and the historic

A DECC press release dated 26 March 2010 advises that approval has been given for construction of a power plant fuelled by biomass at Bristol Port, Avonmouth. It is anticipated that this will generate electricity to power up to 200,000 homes.

The Environment Agency published a report in April 2009 which highlights biomass energy as having a key role in delivering greenhouse gas emission targets, but only if the fuel is produced in an environmentally sustainable way and used efficiently. The report, Biomass – carbon sink or carbon sinner? can be downloaded here.

The Environmental Audit Committee published the Government Response to the Committee’s Fourth Report – Are biofuels suistainable? - on 4 June 2008.

DEFRA published a Review of work on the environmental sustainability of international biofuels production and use (PDF 6.69MB) in April 2008.

A Vision for Biomass Report was launched in Bradford on 17 March 2008 and ‘provides a vision for biomass for the Yorkshire and Humber region and an action plan to achieve this vision’. The webpage includes links to the full report, a summary report and launch presentations.

The Environmental Audit Committee report ‘Are Biofuels Sustainable?, released in February 2008, suggests that plans agreed by EU energy ministers to use 10 per cent of biofuels in transport by 2020 were “reckless”. It raises concerns that biofuels do not help reduce greenhouse gases, it describes current climate change policy as “expensive and inefficient” and accuses ministers off failing to address the potential consequences of using the fuels.

Defra published the UK Biomass Strategy (PDF | 3.53 MB) in May 2007.

Natural England published a policy position statement on bioenergy in December 2007 (PDF c35KB).

Bioenergy in the UK: turning green promises into environmental reality (PDF 2.08MB) published in July 2007 by LINK (Wildlife and Countryside Link, Wales Environment Link, Northern Ireland Environment Link and Scottish Environment Link). This report, co-sponsored by CBA identifies how UK bioenergy production and use should develop “in a sustainable way, achieving significant greenhouse gas savings, whilst avoiding damaging impacts on the natural and historic environment”. Link also produced Bioenergy: environmental impact and best practice – final report (PDF 1.48MB) in January 2007.

The English Heritage publication ‘Biomass energy and the historic environment’ (PDF 981KB, December 2006) discusses biomass technology and energy crops, renewable energy within a planning context and the impact of projects on the historic environment.

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