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ETI outlines new decarbonisation report

The Energy Institute (ETI) has released a report reviewing its 10 year bioenergy programme in which they recommend an increase in biomass production as well as the creation of the correct environment to advance bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. The ETI feel that both recommendations are core components in the push towards a low and net zero carbon UK.

In the report, the ETI published updated versions of its two plausible pathways in which the UK could cost-effectively meet its 2050 climate targets. The Clockwork and Patchwork scenarios both identify bioenergy as economically important to a low carbon transition.

Written by the Energy Systems Catapult on behalf of the ETI, the report illustrates the value of bioenergy when it is combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) to deliver negative emissions alongside the production of power or hydrogen.   

The ETI warns that limiting of biomass resource availability will lead to the total cost of decarbonisation rising in the UK. This would then require that other parts of energy systems become more expensive in order to be able to continue to meet emissions targets.

At present, the Contracts for Difference scheme is the only policy support mechanism for new biomass to power technologies. So far, is has only been awarded to 1,671 MW of biomass and waste technologies and the next auction is expected to take place in May 2019.

Bioenergy project manager at the ETI Geraint Evans said: “Bioenergy is currently the largest source of renewable energy in the UK, and its value is greatest when combined with CCS to deliver negative emissions.”

He continued, “Our modelling has shown that bioenergy’s valuable role in a future energy transition is dependent on a number of factors such as, the demand for different energy vectors (power, heat and fuels) the availability of alternative low carbon energy sources and the rate of deployment of low carbon technologies including, importantly, CCS.”