As UK industry continues its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the Government has launched a new consultation that seeks to advance private investment to accelerate development of biomass energy generation with associated carbon capture.
Launched today, 11th August, the consultation will also explore the potential to use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to boost the country’s energy security and create new job opportunities.
Still considered a nascent technology, BECCS works by generating energy from biomass, sustainable plant material, while storing the released carbon through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
CO2 is often permanently and safely sequestered underground in geological formations, though industry is also working to store the greenhouse gas in other ways, such as locking it within ‘green’ graphene and cement.
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Commenting on the announcement, Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, said, “The Government is fully behind biomass energy to provide more power in Britain, for Britain.”
“The more clean power we generate within the UK, the less exposed we’ll all be to volatile gas markets that are pushing up bills.”
Earlier in the week the Government announced that it would provide £37m in funding for a range of biomass projects across the UK.
Read more: UK Govt injects £37m into clean energy tech
This includes a project to be undertaken by Aberystwyth University in Wales to explore the potential for biomass use of miscanthus, and another run by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Belfast that aims to support farmers and land managers when it comes to planting perennial energy crops.
By focusing on such projects, the Government hopes that biomass – which generates enough renewable energy to power four million homes - can also help the country reduce reliance on expensive fossil fuels.
Launched earlier this year, the Government also released an Expression of Interest for greenhouse gas (GHG) removal projects, which was built upon by a commitment outlined in the Net Zero Strategy to remove 5m tonnes of GHG’s per year from the atmosphere by 2030.
In addition to increasing energy security, the adoption and advancement of BECCS technologies could be key in offsetting emissions from hard-to-abate sectors such as agriculture and aviation, as well as supporting delivery of a ‘fully decarbonised’ power system by 2035.
Set to run until October, the consultation will gain feedback on its early proposals surrounding deployment of the technology, barriers to investment, and business model design elements.
“With these reforms, we will boost domestically-produced, cheaper and cleaner sources of energy to power Britain into the future,” concluded Kwarteng.