Accelerating the growth of bioenergy crops
To meet climate targets the UK will need to rely on a variety of energy sources, including energy from burning biomass crops. Researchers at the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) Aberystwyth University, with funding from BBSRC, have developed new hybrids of the biomass crop Miscanthus that will enable growers to scale-up production to meet the UK’s future biomass energy production needs. Moreover, such biomass can also be used as a feedstock to replace chemicals and materials currently derived from fossil fuels or energy demanding processes, and therefore help to decarbonise the economy.
|2019||The year licences were signed for 8 novel hybrids, currently in commercial trials in six European countries.|
|£1.3M||Value of BBSRC/InnovateUK funding for the research (MUST)|
|2006||The year that Defra/BBSRC-supported germplasm collection began in SE Asia|
The new hybrids are adapted to UK conditions and to growing on areas of lower-quality land that are less suitable for food production. They are produced from seeds instead of rhizomes, which allow for a much more rapid scale-up of the commercial planted area, at a lower cost and with a lower environmental impact.
Industry partner Terravesta, which holds licences for the most promising new hybrids, is aiming for commercial roll-out of the crop in 2020. The new hybrids are also undergoing commercial trials in six European countries.
Read the full impact evidence report:
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