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.