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Survey finds strong support for bioenergy with young people the seeds of change for reducing emissions in the UK

5 October 2017

Hannah Evans
Hannah Evans Practice Manager, Bioenergy – Energy Systems Catapult

Bioenergy from biomass and waste already plays a significant role in delivering low carbon heat, power and transport fuels in the UK, and our research in this area aims to highlight the importance of developing the bioenergy sector to deliver cost-effective emissions reductions.

Until recently bioenergy production has been dominated by waste feedstocks, but demand has risen for more sustainable UK-grown and imported biomass to meet emissions reduction targets. To further increase supplies of UK-grown biomass, more energy crops and forestry need to be planted.

Alongside strong support for emissions reductions and other renewable energy sources, it is encouraging to see high levels of public support for bioenergy as a route to reducing emissions as this will influence the extent to which the sector will expand.

It is important to maintain strong public support for bioenergy as this could influence policy making and the willingness of farmers and foresters to produce additional biomass feedstocks. As well as raising awareness of the benefits of bioenergy, it will be important to address concerns by continuing to demonstrate the sustainability of bioenergy feedstocks.

Government action should lead on tackling greenhouse emissions and developing the bioenergy sector but the public are likely to look to other sources for reliable information on the sector, suggesting it will be crucial for different groups to work together to increase awareness and understanding of bioenergy while developing the sector in the UK.