Renewable fuels will produce no environmental benefit if tropical
rainforests are destroyed in order to grow them, the Country Land
and Business Association (CLA) is warning.
"There is very good reason why many of the proposed refineries
designed to process bio-fuels here will be located at ports," CLA
president David Fursdon, told a major conference on renewable energy*
today (November 29). "The feedstock - crops - will be imported.
Indeed our growers will be in stiff competition with imports from
around the world.
"The recently announced Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation
(RTFO) which requires 5% of all UK fuel to come from a renewable
source by 2010 is welcome, but not if it simply means imports.
This is why we are lobbying hard for environmental certification
as part of the obligation."
Giving an over-view of renewable energy from the land, Mr Fursdon "looked
forward to a future where biomass heating is standard practice
on all farms and in all converted farm buildings, wherever the
gas grid is not available". He called for assistance so that
as many people as possible could be helped to install biomass boilers.
This could either come as direct grant aid or through a long-term
mechanism that delivered income through renewable heat obligation
He cited the biogas plant at Holsworthy in Devon as a blueprint
for the future. Food waste from Holsworthy Dairy and the slurry
from local farms are processed to provide energy while the residue – the
digestate - replaces purchased fertiliser.
"In East Anglia vegetable packing and processing waste would
do just as well. The digestate is checked for nitrogen and phosphates,
and can be applied to meet crop requirements, reducing water pollution.
The total fertiliser value is higher than the nitrogen content
in the farm slurry as the food waste input is captured as well.
"There are hundreds of these plants in the EU and further
afield, notably in Germany and Holland. At a smaller scale, a UK
manufacturer is offering a batch processor which can be shared
In its policy document 'Renewable Energy - More than Wind' – the
CLA has examined all the renewable energy opportunities and made
a number of recommendations* which included:
Eliminating the S.36 procedure in planing that imposes very large
scale windfarms on local communities; ensuring local authorities
require 10% renewables in new developments;
New building regulations to go further in offering renewable energy
options as well as increased efficiency in new commercial and domestic
A renewable heat obligation to follow on from the Biomass Task
Force’s grants to incentivise renewable heat.
"Here in East Anglia many of you will be facing direct threats
from climate change impacts, not least in terms of the threat to
our coastline, and increased flooding and drought," said Mr
Fursdon. "Renewable energy can help to address climate change
while at the same time achieving sustainable rural development,
and, most importantly, offering great business opportunities for
land owners and managers if addressed in the right way.
"We are actively lobbying Government to improve support for
Renewable Energy in the UK."
welcomes green light for green fuels
Task Force is Cool over Renewable Heat
Are Important Part Of The Mix