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Bioenergy consultation launched by Scottish Government

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The Scottish Government is seeking views on the sustainable use of bioenergy, including the growing of crops for electricity, heat and fuels, as part of the nation’s transition to clean energy and aim to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2045. 

Bioenergy is already a key component of Scotland’s energy system, produced by converting organic material from trees, plants and food waste into electricity to replace fossil fuels. It has has many applications across heat, power, industry and transport, with a diverse range of mature and emerging technologies, which can be used to convert organic matter (biomass) into energy and could permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere when used in conjunction with carbon capture technology.

A draft policy statement from the Scottish Government sets out how bioenergy can be used to reduce emissions, and proposes using agricultural land specifically to grow crops such as short rotation coppice, short rotation forestry and miscanthus, which can be converted into bioenergy.

Consultation on the strategy outlined in the statement will run for 12 weeks, seeking views on the opportunities and barriers to using biomass for fuel, including the potential to scale up domestic production.

Energy Minister Gillian Martin said:

“Bioenergy supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2045. Research shows if 90,000 hectares of these crops were planted, this could deliver an amount of energy equivalent to powering around 1.3 million homes a year.

“Realising this potential can help to deliver a just transition for our energy sector, and develop a self-sufficient and secure supply chain to enable us to generate more of this greener energy.

“It is vitally important that people engage on this consultation and give us their views.”

The news follows concerns expressed by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) earlier this week regarding Scotland’s ability to meet its statutory 2030 emission reduction targets, recommending urgent action including the publication of the Climate Change Plan and implementation of effective policies across sectors like transport, buildings and agriculture.

Readers can read more of the draft bioenergy policy statement and take part in the consultation here.

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