Poor take-up of energy crop grants

Only 4% of the grants available for planting energy crops have been taken up by farmers, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has said.1

In 2000, the Government launched an energy crops scheme to stimulate the planting of miscanthus and short rotation coppice. It earmarked £30 million for grants to farmers over six years from April 2001 (ENDS Report 330, p 44 ).

By the end of January only £1.2 million had been paid out to farmers. The Government is currently considering applications for another £1.4 million, Mr Michael said. This is well below the growth needed for biomass to make a significant contribution towards renewable electricity targets.

Only a handful of biomass projects have come forward since the introduction of the renewables obligation in 2002.

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