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Bioenergy infrastructure grants of £1.5m available in England

Bioenergy infrastructure grants of £1.5 million are now available to farmers, foresters and local authorities to help develop the supply of biomass, such as wood chips or energy crops like miscanthus, in England through round three of the Bioenergy Infrastructure Scheme.

Eligible crops are: short rotation coppice (willow, poplar, alder, ash, hazel, lime, silver birch, sweet chestnut and sycamore), miscanthus, switch grass, reed canary grass, prairie cord grass, rye grass, straw, woodfuel from forestry, arboricultural tree management and primary processing and other energy crops at DECC’s discretion.

Crops excluded from the bioenergy grants are: wood arising from secondary processing and any wood that has been chemically treated or painted, oilseed rape to be used to produce heat and electricity, biomass for processing into transport fuels or animal waste products (e.g. poultry litter, sewage etc).

UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, Lord Hunt says: “As we approach Copenhagen we need to encourage business to invest in renewable energy. We have a target to get 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, and biomass can make a significant contribution.

“We funded 75 projects in round two of this scheme and we will continue to work to ensure that the supply chain is in place to create a thriving bioenergy market in England, which is good for the environment and good for business.”

The objectives of the bioenergy scheme are to increase renewable energy generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while contributing to sustainable land management, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says.

The bioenergy scheme provides grants to help the development of the supply chain required to harvest, process, store and supply biomass to heat, combined heat and power, and electricity end-users. The scheme is restricted to bioenergy projects based in England and is open to businesses, local authorities and charities, DECC adds.

Grants will only be available for projects which complete by 31 March 2011.

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