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24 biomass projects receive share of £4m government funding

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Twenty four biomass projects have received a share of £4 million (€4.6 million) in UK Government funding.

Farming seaweed, growing algae and the by-products of whisky manufacturing feature among the 24 projects, which range from start-ups and family-run businesses to research institutes and universities.

Each project will receive up to £200,000 (€233,000) from the government’s Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme to produce low-carbon energy using organic materials. The projects will boost biomass productivity in the UK through breeding, planting, cultivating, and harvesting organic energy materials.

“Working to develop new and greener types of fuel like biomass is an important part of building the diverse and green energy mix that we will need to achieve our climate change targets,” said Energy Minister Lord Callanan.

“We are backing UK innovators to ensure we have a home-grown supply of biomass materials, which is part of our wider plans to continue driving down carbon emissions as we build back greener.”

Rickerby Estates in Carlisle received over £150,000 (€175,000) to explore scaling-up the harvesting of willow crops using new cutting-edge technology such as automated processing machinery controlled by GPS satellite guidance systems.

In Wales, Aberystwyth University received over £160,000 (€186,000) for its ‘Micanspeed’ project, which is looking at ways to improve the breeding of high-yielding, resilient Miscanthus or elephant grass – grass varieties that are well-suited for biomass use in the UK.

White Horse Energy will explore technical innovations in mobile pelletisation. The project’s core aim is to apply mobile pelletiser technology to energy crops, thereby opening up a significant new source of pellets for the UK market.

Green Fuels Research in Gloucestershire has received over £190,000 (€221,000) for a project that will allow microscopic algae to be produced for biomass using wastewater from breweries and dairy industries.

The full list of projects is available on the government website.