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Thu12182014

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Funding & Incentives

Energy from biomass gets funding in Britain

Energy from biomass gets funding in Britain
Bioenergy projects can use plant matter, such as the wood pellets pictured about, to produce heat and power

The British government is pushing through with bioenergy as a low-carbon alternative for traditional fuels, with the announcement of more than £10 million ($16 million) in funding for both European and home-grown bioenergy projects.

Bioenergy is energy derived from plant or animal matter, known as biomass. Biomass can be burned to produce heat or make steam to power a turbine. It can also be anaerobically digested to generate biogas for heat or electricity. Biogas can also be processed into biomethane and used for the national gas grid.

“Bioenergy has an important role to play in our energy mix, helping cut carbon as well as support jobs and spur economic growth on a national and international scale,” said energy minister John Hayes.

Britain has pledged up to £10million ($16 million) to develop bioenergy projects in partnership with other European Union countries in the ERA-NET Plus BESTF Scheme.

The other countries in the scheme are Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Portugal. It will be supported by around €47 million ($61.37 million) in public money and will boost up to €100 million ($130.58 million) of bioenergy innovation projects in the participating countries.

Organizations will be invited to put forward proposals for the projects in early 2013, with grants expected to be given out in early 2014.

British biomass and bioenergy

The British government’s bioenergy strategy, released in 2012, believes that sustainably sourced bioenergy can contribute around 11 percent to the total primary energy demand by 2020.

In order to live up to this potential, investments into further innovation in the bioenergy sector is needed.

“Bioenergy has an important part to play in our energy mix, increasing the amount of power we get from clean green sources. It can help cut carbon and enable us to meet our renewables targets,” said energy and climate change minister Greg Barker.

To spur and support growth in this sector, the Department of Energy and Climate Change launched a £2 million ($3.2 million), three-phase wetlands biomass to bioenergy competition last October.

As of January 9, seven British entrepreneurs have been awarded a share of £292,000 ($467,871) in funding to get bioenergy projects ideas off the drawing board.

These include AB Systems, Adapt, EcoCZERO, AMW-IBERS, Carbon Compost, Cranfield University and Natural Synergies.

These organizations and their project ideas are eligible for the second phase of the competition which could earn them further funding to trail their ideas in wetland conditions in spring 2013. The third and final phase would grant funding for further testing of designs in spring 2014. – K.R. Jalbuena



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