Publication of the Biomass Strategy 2023
On 10th August the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Published the long-awaited Biomass Strategy. The Strategy presents the government’s ambitions for how biomass will be deployed to support the UK’s Net Zero Transition. Sustainability of biomass, and how this will be governed in the future is at the heart of this strategy. There is also a focus on how the biomass available should be used to best support the UK’s transition to net zero, with the strategy outlining the government’s principles for prioritising biomass use and considering the interventions that may be needed to drive this transition.
Joanna Sparks, Policy Fellow for the Biomass Biorefinery Network, the High Value Biorenewables Network, the Carbon Recycling Network, and the Supergen Bioenergy Hub has been engaging Policy makers during the development of this strategy. She said: “The Biomass Strategy is an ambitious document, and I am particularly pleased with the commitment to sustainability and the acknowledgement that biomass will be important for decarbonising many sectors. To deliver on the Strategy’s ambitions, action will need to be taken and mechanisms put in place to overcome barriers to deployment of feedstocks and technologies, to drive biomass use in priority applications, and to implement the principles for improved sustainability governance. The Strategy rightly highlights an ongoing role for research and innovation to help unlock the potential of biomass for net zero, something which I believe the BBSRC NIBB and their members are well placed to support. For some applications like bio-based chemicals more discussion and evidence is needed to support policy development and move things forward, and I look forward to continuing to engage with policy makers on such topics.”
Professor Neil Bruce, Director of the Biomass Biorefinery Network said: “The Biomass Strategy is an important step forward on the path to breaking our dependence on fossil fuels for the sustainable production of advanced fuels, chemicals and materials to meet our Net Zero target using engineering biology and biorefining technologies.”
Professor Nigel P Minton, Director of the Carbon Recycling Network said: “The publication of the Biomass Strategy is a welcome step forwards in helping shape our pathways to circular economies. Recent advances in engineering biology and industrial biotechnology approaches will have important roles in realising a sustainable industrial future.”
Professor Ian Graham, Director of the High Value Biorenewables Network said: “The new Biomass Strategy does an excellent job in highlighting the importance of non-energy uses of biomass and laying down the challenge for us to be creative in the use of engineering biology to develop new sustainable production platforms for chemicals and materials along with securing the long term supply of biomass feedstock through for example the continued development and expansion of multipurpose crops such as industrial hemp.”
The Supergen Bioenergy Hub has released a more in-depth discussion and comment from leading academics based within the Hub. There is also an opportunity to join Supergen Bioenergy Hub and stakeholders in London on 28 September, to reflect on and discuss the implications of the Strategy for research, at their event ‘What next for UK Biomass research? Implications of the UK Biomass Strategy’.