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Why the government’s Energy Bill is good news for farmers

  • Blog
  • 2 min read

Here at Terravesta, we welcome the recent announcement of the government’s Energy Bill.

Introduced by the Climate Change Secretary last week, the Bill lays out significant electricity market reform – including plans to treble investment in clean power generation to £7.6 billion by 2020. This shows that the government is putting serious backing behind a shake-up of power generation infrastructure in the UK, which is certainly a step in the right direction for the energy crop market. As we move towards decarbonisation of current supply, investor support means demand for alternative fuels such as biomass is set to soar. Miscanthus growers who are ready meet demand for supply will reap the rewards.

The Bill hopes to help diversify the energy supply market enough to take the percentage of the UK’s energy generated by renewables from 11% today to around 30% by 2020. The announcement also outlined plans for ministers to take powers to set a decarbonisation range for the power sector by 2030. As part of this, major suppliers such as coal-fired power stations will be obliged to adopt low-carbon alternatives to current practices. This is where biomass boilers – and energy crop suppliers in particular – come in.

As government measures are implemented in line with fast-approaching targets, and investment funds are spent, the electricity industry will be under pressure to “keep the lights on”. Suppliers like coal-fired power stations need to rely on a new fuel that is easily integrated, readily available and sustainable. Unlike other renewables that are weather-dependent, such as wind turbines, biomass can be burned when needed – in the same way that coal can. Since energy crops can deliver commercial yields within three years, and pellets can be co-fired with fossil fuels or burnt exclusively following power station conversion, Miscanthus growers are in a unique position; and we are confident that if they can grow it, then power stations will buy it.