UK Leads EU Scheme to Drive Bioenergy Innovation

Wed, 09 January 2013

The UK has pledged up to £10million (€12.5M) to a scheme to develop innovative bioenergy projects, in partnership with seven other EU countries. The cash will help stimulate millions of pounds of further private investment in the technology.

Bioenergy is one of the most versatile forms of low carbon and renewable generation. It can be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuel and can provide a continuous and constant flow of energy. Development of the bioenergy supply chain will also support growth and jobs in the UK economy and abroad.

The ERA-NET Plus BESTF scheme, worth around €47million in public money, will stimulate up to €100m of bioenergy innovation projects in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Portugal.

Energy Minister John Hayes said:

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

“Britain has been the global engine room of innovation for centuries. I want to see that rich tradition continue in the energy sector. This scheme will help businesses develop a range of different innovative projects by combining public and private sector investment to make the most of this exciting technology.”

DECC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board will all play a vital role for the UK in this scheme. DECC will put up to £6million (€7.4M) into the scheme over the next 2-3 years, with the Technology Strategy Board and BBSRC together contributing up to a further £4M (€5.1M). DECC will co-ordinate the initiative with the Technology Strategy Board providing support.

Organisations will be invited to put forward proposals for innovative projects in early 2013, with grants expected to be made in early 2014.

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