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Not possible for UK to meet net-zero GHG without bioenergy - new REA report

A new report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has found that the sustainable use of bioenergy is core to the UK meeting its legally binding 5th Carbon Budget. By increasing its deployment by a factor of 2.5 by 2032, sustainable bioenergy, the UK’s leading renewable energy source, has the potential to meet both the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) projected 5th Carbon Budget shortfall and the impending nuclear gap by providing an additional 117 TWh across heat, transport and power.

A biomethane gas-to-grid injection point is included in the funding programme.

A biomethane gas-to-grid injection point at a biogas plant in the UK. From the grid, the biomethane can be used for heat, transport or power.

Last month, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published their net-zero by 2050 recommendations just three weeks after data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed that the UK is not on track to meet the 4th and 5th Carbon Budgets.

Bioenergy technologies, such as modern biomass boilers, biofuels, and anaerobic digestion (AD), offer an immediate and affordable route to tackling these challenges by providing instantaneous carbon reductions in the hard to decarbonise areas of heat and transport.

The report, “Bioenergy Strategy Phase 2: A Vision to 2032 and Beyond” builds upon bioenergy’s already impressive credentials by outlining its potential contribution to the UK’s energy mix in 2032 and beyond. The delivery of the outlined vision would see the demand for bioenergy’s overall energy contribution increase from 5.5 percent in 2020 to 15 percent in 2032 creating over 100 000 jobs.

If the UK is to achieve net-zero GHG by 2050 and meet its legally binding Carbon Budgets, we must adhere to the advice of the Committee on Climate Change and significantly increase the deployment of renewable technologies. Bioenergy presents numerous options across heat, power and transport, and the UK is not in a position to be casting away renewable, sustainable and cost effective solutions. This report outlines the possibilities for the UK if we grasp the opportunity the bioenergy sector presents, said Dr Adam Brown, author of the Bioenergy Strategy report.

The report is the second installment in the REA’s Bioenergy Strategy, an industry-led review of bioenergy’s potential and the policies needed for it to maximise potential through to 2030 and beyond.

Increasing the deployment of bioenergy is the only realistic solution to affordably and sustainably bridge the anticipated energy gap and rapidly decarbonise the UK in line with legally binding targets. Bioenergy is a no regrets solution to achieving these targets due to its ability to provide immediate and affordable GHG savings through existing infrastructure whilst facilitating the development and commercialisation of future technologies, said REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska.

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