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UK government launches "Growing the Bioeconomy" strategy

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the Bioeconomy Strategy: 2018 to 2030 outlining the approach that government, industry and the research community will take to "harness the power" of bioscience and biotechnology.

According to a statement, the bioeconomy represents the economic potential of harnessing the power of bioscience, using renewable biological resources to replace fossil resources in products, processes, and services. This will also reduce the country’s dependence on the finite fossil resource.

The UK bioeconomy is currently worth GBP220 billion (≈ EUR 244.7 billion) and supports 5.2 million jobs.

The “Growing the Bioeconomy” strategy has four main goals, to:

  • maximise productivity and potential from existing UK bioeconomy assets
  • create the right societal and market conditions to allow novel biobased products and services to thrive
  • capitalise on world-class research, development and innovation base to grow the bioeconomy
  • deliver real, measurable benefits for the UK economy

Commenting on strategy, Mark Sommerfeld, Policy Manager at the Renewable Energy Association (REA) noted that it “makes clear” that utilising bioresources efficiently and sustainably is central to both decarbonisation and a vibrant future economy that delivers regional growth, greater productivity and thousands of jobs based around innovative technologies, many of which are being delivered today by the bioenergy sector.

Central to this is utilising the UK’s supply of bioenergy feedstocks to deliver a complete range of renewable energy products that will decarbonise the UK’s heat, power, and transport requirements. Government must now act on these ambitions. Today’s strategy highlights the need for effective policies to make better use of our food waste, our residual waste streams and other sources of sustainable biomass to create a complete range of renewable energy products, said Sommerfeld.

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