UK works with EU countries to develop bioenergy projects

The UK is working in partnership with seven other EU countries to develop innovative bioenergy projects.

The UK’s contribution of up to £10m (€12.5m) is expected to help stimulate millions of pounds of further private investment in the technology.

Bioenergy, a form of renewable energy that is derived from organic sources, can be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuel.

According to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), 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 €47m (£38m) in public money, is expected to stimulate up to €100m of bioenergy projects in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Portugal.

In a statement, UK 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.

‘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.’

The DECC will contribute up to £6m (€7.4m) into the scheme over the next 2–3 years, with the Technology Strategy Board and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) together contributing up to a further £4m (€5.1m).

The 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.