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ETI recommends increased biomass production and the development of BECCS to cost-effectively decarbonise the UK energy system

31 October 2018

Geraint Evans
Geraint Evans Programme Manager

Bioenergy is currently the largest source of renewable energy in the UK, and its value is greatest when combined with CCS to deliver negative emissions.

This review of our work over the last decade recommends increasing biomass production through the planting of second-generation crops, increasing delivery of more physically and chemically consistent feedstocks and the development of gasification to produce clean syngas from biomass and wastes now, buying flexibility for the future because of the continued role of gaseous fuels in the energy system moving forward.

Our modelling has shown that bioenergy’s valuable role in a future energy transition is dependent on a number of factors such as, the demand for different energy vectors (power, heat and fuels) the availability of alternative low carbon energy sources and the rate of deployment of low carbon technologies including, importantly, CCS.

We know that BECCS technologies are not the cheapest means of producing bioenergy nor the cheapest for producing renewable energy, but its economic value comes from offsetting the need for more expensive decarbonisation measures elsewhere in the energy system.