UK Government boosts biomass with £4 million funding

Biomass projects throughout the UK were today awarded £4 million Government funding to boost biomass production.

A total of 24 projects in the field of biomass, a renewable energy source generated from burning wood, plants and other organic matter, will receive up to £200,000

The projects, from start-ups and family-run businesses to research institutes and universities, will receive funding of up to £200,000 from the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme to produce low-carbon energy using organic materials.

The projects include farming seaweed and growing algae from the by-products of whisky manufacturing. Biomass is backed by the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change, but critics say there can be environmental and climate concerns even when biomass is from “sustainably managed” sources.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: “Working to develop new and greener types of fuel like biomass is an important part of building a the diverse and green energy mix that we will need to achieve our climate change targets.

“We are backing UK innovators to ensure we have a homegrown supply of biomass materials, which is part of our wider plans to continue driving down carbon emissions as we build back greener.”

One of the grant recipients is Rickerby Estates Ltd in Carlisle, which has received more than £150,000, to look at scaling up the harvesting of willow crops using technology such as GPS satellite-controlled automated processing machinery.

Another is Green Fuels Research Limited in Gloucestershire. It received more than £190,000 for a project that will allow microscopic algae to be produced for biomass using wastewater from breweries and dairy industries