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Stackyard News Jul 06

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Farmers fight for prominent role in energy plans

The Government has rightly acknowledged the contribution that renewables can make to UK energy supply but has not specified where agriculture fits in with the plan, says the NFU.

wind turbines

In its Energy Review, the Government unveiled plans to increase energy supply from renewables including biofuels, biomass, biogas, solar, wind and wave energy with nuclear power at the heart of the report. However, the report lacks detail on how this will be implemented, often relying on a further six consultations – intentions rather than specific actions.

The NFU is disappointed by the lack of emphasis on the role farmers can play, with no separate levels set for bioenergy to help achieve EU targets.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Although the report seems full of good intentions, it fails to lay solid groundwork for the developing UK bioenergy industry. Farmers are willing and able to supply renewable energy but a firm lack of commitment and specific targets is undermining this market.

“If the Government is serious about renewables it should set separate targets for bioenergy for heat, electricity and fuel, allowing the UK to move towards a cleaner, more secure energy source, and to enable investors the confidence to develop the infrastructure needed.”

The European Environment Agency recently reported that 15 -16 per cent of EU energy could be met through domestic bioenergy production without harming the environment. The NFU is questioning the Government’s commitment to similar targets in the UK.

Mr Kendall said: “There is no single solution to meet the UK energy demand of the future but a package of suitable solutions, with the emphasis on renewables and domestic production, needs to be found. While the UK continues to talk up renewables in comparison with our EU counterparts, we’re completely off the pace.

“We will be interested in the findings of the Coal Forum as UK Agriculture is keen to develop further green co-firing of UK biomass material. We also welcome a review of planning to over come problems of building renewable power stations.

“Bioenergy should play a full part in this mix and the Government needs to set targets similar to the rest of the EU and not simply rely on market forces to develop a demand for bioenergy.”

link Prepare Now For Climate Change, Farmers Warned
link Buy Local Food and Fight Climate Change
link Woodland managers plan for climate change

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