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Increase in Bio-energy use needed to hit 2050 targets

9 December 2011

The government’s advisors on climate change, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published its latest report this week warning that in order to hit 2050 emissions targets the UK will need to increase its use of Bio-energy to make up 10% of the UK’s total energy usage, as compared with the current 2%.

Bio-energy involves the use of solid, liquid and gas fuels from sources such as wood, waste or feedstocks. The CCC envisages converting existing coal power plants into bio-energy power plants, as it argues bio-energy plants have lower carbon emissions than plants burning fossil fuels.

However, there is opposition from environmental campaigners, such as Friends of the Earth, who argue that large scale bio-mass projects pose a threat to forests worldwide and the government should instead focus on small scale projects that rely on food and slurry.

The Government therefore faces a tough balancing act when preparing its new bio-energy strategy, due in 2012, which we will await with interest.

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