Energy Technology Institute seeks partners to explore the future of UK biomass logistics
The UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners for a new bioenergy project aimed to improve understanding of the future of biomass logistics in the UK.
The project intends to identify key decision points and the actions that would need to be taken to support the sector’s development out to 2050. In particular the research will focus on those ‘scenario-resilient’ actions without which the infrastructure required would not keep pace with demand for bioenergy.
The deadline to notify the intention to submit a proposal for the project is 18th April 2016; submission of proposals will remain open until 29th April 2016.
According to ETI, bioenergy can play a significant and valuable role in a future long term low carbon UK energy system. However, delivering the greatest value from bioenergy depends on the UK’s ability to source and distribute sufficient biomass from sustainable sources, either domestic or imported.
Hannah Evans, ETI Bioenergy Strategy Analyst explains: “The bioenergy sector has seen significant growth in recent years, leading to increases in the quantity of both imported and domestically produced feedstock. ETI’s analysis shows that bioenergy can play a significant and valuable role in cost-effectively meeting the UK’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) targets. While supply has been able to keep up with demand to date, as the bioenergy sector continues to grow further investment will need to be made to ensure sufficient quantities of biomass can be imported, stored, transported, processed and distributed to end users. In order to ensure the commercial viability of the biomass sector and to minimise the cost to the consumer, it is important that the infrastructure for biomass logistics is developed and used efficiently, learning lessons from other sectors where appropriate."
Ms Evans concludes: "While domestic sources offer the greatest energy security and sustainability benefits in the longer-term, the UK currently doesn’t have enough of its own biomass feedstock today to supply a commercially-viable large-scale bioenergy sector. Therefore, the most pragmatic approach is to develop the sector based on near-term increases in biomass imports derived from sustainable sources, such that the key actors in the supply chain can ‘learn by doing’ in terms of logistics, handling, designing and operating bioenergy conversion technologies. In parallel, support will also be needed to build up a strong and commercially-viable biomass feedstock supply chain in the UK to enable domestic biomass supplies to continue to play a significant role.”
Further information and the set of forms to join the project can be found on ETI website at: http://bit.ly/1Q6ztaG.