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REA launches bioenergy review with new Call for Evidence

In the United Kingdom (UK), the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has launched a major new review of the future of bioenergy in the UK. The new review, which will include inputs from industry experts, academia and NGO's, follows the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) estimate that bioenergy could provide up to 15 percent of UK energy by 2050.

Biomass is the largest source of renewable heat and the second largest source of
renewable power in the UK. An industrial biomass heat user in Scotland touting
other benefits of using locally sourced woodchips.

The review comes shortly after the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimated bioenergy’s contribution to UK total energy could more than double by 2050. The International Energy Agency (IEA) described bioenergy as ‘the overlooked giant of renewables’.

Bioenergy is already a major part of British life. It’s our largest source of renewable heat, the second largest source of renewable power and is a key solution to decarbonising transport today and into the future. It’s been central to the UK’s progress in cutting its carbon emissions. For bioenergy to fulfil its potential long into the future, we need a strong evidence base, expert inputs from industry and real political will. That’s why we’ve launched this review and invited all stakeholders to contribute their expertise, said Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the REA.

Form policy review

The review is expected to form a new UK policy strategy for government and industry, outlining how bioenergy can fulfil its long-term potential in a low-carbon energy mix.

It will provide a comprehensive up-to-date assessment of the current role of bioenergy and the potential it has in meeting carbon targets by the year 2032 when the UK’s final carbon budget will draw to a close.

The Strategy will also look at bioenergy’s role in meeting the UK’s 2050 targets for decarbonisation. The publication of the REA’s Bioenergy Strategy will come two years after the long-awaited first review of the Government’s 2012 Bioenergy Strategy was expected.

Stakeholder inputs wanted

To launch the review, the REA is seeking stakeholder and expert views on the future and potential of bioenergy through their Call for Evidence. Industry, academic specialists, NGOs and political stakeholders – as well as the wider public – are invited to submit evidence to the review.

Bioenergy has been at the heart of the move to renewable energy in the UK. It currently provides the largest share of renewable energy, both globally and in the UK. Many of the policies which have helped spur the growth of bioenergy are now coming to an end and the energy markets and technologies have advanced significantly. So it’s time for an update of the UK’s strategy. We want to explore the role of bioenergy and how public policy and industry practice need to change if we’re to get the most out of this sector. We’re looking at everything from sustainability and air quality to economic value and its ability to cut energy bills. We’re very keen to hear from all stakeholders with expertise in bioenergy issues, which is why we’ve launched with a broad Call for Evidence, commented Adam Brown, the independent author for the Bioenergy Strategy report.

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