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BEIS opens Phase 2 of UK’s Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme

Innovative projects across the UK can bid for a share of £26 million (≈ EUR 30.45 million) to increase UK production of sustainable biomass as the government ramps up plans to boost the use of materials such as grasses, hemp, and seaweed to help the country reach net zero. The chosen projects will drive biomass productivity in the UK through the breeding, planting, cultivating and harvesting of organic matter; from water-based materials such as algae to whole trees through sustainable forestry.

Innovative projects across the UK can bid for a share of £26 million (≈ EUR 30.45 million) to increase UK production of sustainable biomass as the government ramps up plans to boost the use of materials such as grasses, hemp, and seaweed to help the country reach net zero. Projects that were selected under Phase 1 of the “Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme” will be developed from the design stage into full demonstration projects.

Biomass refers to sustainably derived plant material that could be used as fuel to produce energy for heating and powering homes and businesses. Biomass, which is also backed by the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC), will be an important part of the renewable energy mix, vital for the UK to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The funding, available through the now open Phase 2 of the government’s “Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme”, will see projects previously supported under Phase 1 with government funding to design new ways of boosting biomass production in the first round of the scheme, able to apply for further support to bring their projects to life.

The chosen projects will drive biomass productivity in the UK through the breeding, planting, cultivating and harvesting of organic matter; from water-based materials such as algae to whole trees through sustainable forestry operations.

Developing greener fuels like biomass is key to helping the UK slash carbon emissions and drive down costs for consumers. This £26 million government investment will support innovators across the UK, boosting jobs and investment, and help ensure we have the homegrown supply we need to support our plans to build back greener and tackle climate change, said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands.

Part of Net Zero Innovation Portfolio

The Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s GBP1 billion (≈ EUR 1.17 billion) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, announced in the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, to accelerate the commercialization of low-carbon technologies, systems, and business models in power, buildings, and industry.

The two-phase program is designed to increase the production of sustainable UK biomass feedstocks, and accelerate the commercialization of the innovative biomass production technologies supported through the program.

25 projects located across the UK, from start-ups and family-run businesses to research institutes and universities, have already received a share of GBP4 million (≈ EUR 4.86 million) under Phase 1. Under Phase 2, the projects will be developed from the design stage into full demonstration projects, showcasing new methods to grow biomass materials, which can be used to produce low-carbon energy.

The projects supported under Phase 1 included a range of biomass production ideas, such as producing algae using wastewater from breweries and dairy industries, farming seaweed off the North Yorkshire coast, and increasing the planting and harvesting capacity for willow.

Each project will now be able to bid for up to GBP4 million (≈ EUR 4.86 million) in funding or up to GBP5 million (≈ EUR 5.87 million) for bids from the multi-site demonstrator projects that will showcase new biomass feedstock production projects in multiple locations across the UK.

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