Analysis

Biomass power: the germination of a new industry

Crops grown for energy could provide an economic supply of electricity equivalent to up to half of the UK's current demand by 2025 - and make major inroads into its carbon dioxide emissions in the process. No commercial biomass power station is presently operating in the UK, and the Government is likely to encourage only a handful of small plants in this year's round of the non-fossil fuel obligation (NFFO). Another major obstacle is Treasury resistance to altering the current annual subsidy to farmers for placing land in "set-aside" and paying them a lump sum instead to cover the start-up costs of biomass plantations.

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