Strong support for bioenergy with most in favour of it playing a bigger part in energy mix, according to ETI survey

There is strong public support for producing bioenergy in the UK from both biomass and waste, with 80% of respondents in favour of bioenergy playing a bigger part in the UK’s energy mix, according to a new survey carried out for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

eti logoThe “Public Perceptions of Bioenergy in the UK” report presents findings from a YouGov survey commissioned by the ETI. The survey of over 5,300 people found that 74% of people surveyed support producing bioenergy from biomass and 81% support producing biomass from waste.

  • 80% of respondents support an increase in bioenergy use in the UK
  • 74% support producing bioenergy from biomass and 81% support producing biomass from waste, comparable to levels of support seen for other renewable energy technologies
  • Results suggest that the public would be comfortable with a mix of imported and domestic biomass feedstocks, provided imports are used in addition to, not instead of, domestic resources
  • The Government is seen as the most popular choice to lead the development of the UK bioenergy sector

Generating energy from waste and being a renewable source of energy were seen as the most positive features of bioenergy. Over a third (38%) of respondents were concerned about biomass competing with other land uses such as food production, but previously published ETI case studies have shown that they can complement each other. Overall, the survey results suggest that the public would be comfortable with a mix of imported and domestic biomass feedstocks, provided imports are used in addition to, not instead of, domestic resources.

The Government was seen as the most popular choice to lead the development of the UK bioenergy sector. However respondents also valued the role of scientists/academics, environmental groups and consumer/industry watchdogs as reliable sources of information about bioenergy.

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Hannah Evans, ETI Bioenergy Strategy Analyst said:

“Delivering bioenergy on a large scale will be dependent on levels of public support, not just in terms of ensuring new bioenergy generation facilities can obtain planning permission, but also in determining the number of farmers and foresters prepared to plant new bioenergy crops, and whether or not individuals are willing to install biomass boilers in their homes or workplaces.

"It is encouraging to see that levels of support for bioenergy compare favourably with other renewable energy technologies and the public associate bioenergy with a wide range of positive features, particularly the fact that it can be generated from waste materials and that it is seen as a renewable source of energy that can reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels.

"There were concerns that biomass feedstocks could compete with other land uses, such as food production, which is why it is important to demonstrate that biomass feedstocks can be planted successfully on otherwise economically marginal land, and when sited considerately, can complement, rather than compete with, food production. We have recently published case studies of three English farms that demonstrated that planting energy crops can increase the profitability of agricultural land.

"Building a UK bioenergy sector with continued public support will need greater support for domestic production and increased awareness of the benefits it can bring.

"The UK Government is the most popular choice to lead the development of the bioenergy sector. However, the public also value the role of scientists, academics, environmental groups and consumer/industry watchdogs, as reliable, trustworthy sources of information. This presents an opportunity for different organisations to work together to increase awareness and understanding of bioenergy, in parallel to developing the bioenergy sector in the UK.”

Bioenergy can play a significant and valuable role in the future UK energy system, helping reduce the cost of meeting the UK’s 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by more than 1% of gross domestic product (GDP).

The ETI recently published a report “The Evidence for Deploying Bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) in the UK” which highlighted the importance of combining bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (CCS)  if the UK is to meet its 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets cost-effectively.

Analysis using the ETI’s internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME) – a national energy system and design planning capability – indicates  that BECCS could deliver net negative emissions (the removal of carbon from the atmosphere) of approximately 55Mt CO2 per year in the 2050s. This is roughly equivalent to half the UK’s emissions target in 2050 and reduces the need for more expensive decarbonisation measures in other sectors such as aviation and shipping.

In the absence of CCS, bioenergy is still a cost-effective means of decarbonisation and should play an important role in meeting the UK’s 2050 emissions targets.

The ETI has delivered a number of projects to build an evidence base to assess the sustainability of land use change to biomass production in the UK, develop modelling tools to identify optimal bioenergy value chains for the UK and develop low carbon energy technologies that deliver carbon savings, and which could be maximised if combined with CCS.

Further details on all those projects are at

More information on the results of the YouGov survey, including the “Public Perceptions of Bioenergy in the UK” report can be found at

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 5307 GB adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  7th - 12th September 2016.   

About the ETI

The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies – BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce and Shell – and the UK Government.

The role of the ETI is to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. We bring together engineering projects that develop affordable, secure and sustainable technologies to help the UK address its long term emissions reductions targets as well as delivering nearer term benefits. We make targeted commercial investments in nine technology programmes across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.


Start of application period: German Energy Agency launches global Energy Transition Award for start-ups

Numerous internationally-renowned climate activists and more than 70 partners from over 20 countries are already supporting the “Start Up Energy Transition” initiative/ Taking a stance for a global energy transition

2016 12 08 121643The Deutsche Energie-Agentur – the German Energy Agency, or dena for short, has initiated the international competition, “Start Up Energy Transition”. Start-ups and young companies worldwide are invited to apply with their business models and visions. Applications may be submitted at

Within a few short weeks, the initiative has managed to attract numerous internationally-renowned supporters from the field of environmental and climate protection, including Patricia Espinosa, General Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The initiative’s patrons include the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The aim of our initiative is to bring pioneers and enablers of global energy transition together, and to establish an international network of companies, start-ups and sustainability-conscious organisations. We can only make energy transition and climate protection a worldwide success with the help of innovation,” says Andreas Kuhlmann, dena's chief executive. “We are proud that this unique initiative has been set into motion with so many great partners in such a short time, not least because of the support of both of our patrons”. At the same time, we are open to more visionary cooperation partners, ambassadors and sponsors from all over the world who want to get involved in our project and support this global movement to make energy transition a reality.”

There are six categories in total: “The Urban Energy Transition” for contributions to digitalised and sustainable cities; “Cleantech against Climate Change” for technologies that are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a wide range of sectors; “Future of Production and Manufacturing” for digital solutions in the industry; “Mobility meets Energy Transition” for sustainable mobility concepts; and “Platforms and Communities” for the expansion of networks. The special prize “Start Up SDG 7” will go to a company whose project contributes to the
United Nations' sustainable development goal (SDG) 7: affordable, clean energy for all.

Large stage for energy transition start-ups

The award will be presented as part of the “Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue” (BETD) in March 2017 in Berlin, where over 1000 delegates from 70 countries are expected to attend. The day before the BETD, the winner in each category will be announced from a selection of three nominees as part of an international Tech Festival in Berlin. They will therefore have the opportunity to network and exchange knowledge with companies, decision-makers, political visionaries and non-governmental organisations. The annual global Energy Transition summit, jointly organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Foreign Office, brings political decision-makers from all over the world together with experts from business, science, administration and civil society, and promotes the expansion of international cooperation in climate protection, energy efficiency, and renewable energies.

More information about the Start Up Energy Transition Award and how to apply for it can be found at

About Start Up Energy Transition

Over 70 cooperation partners from more than 20 countries support the project, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), the internationally-renowned alliance Rocky Mountain Institute/Carbon War Room, the High-Tech Start-Up Fund (HTGF), the 2° Foundation, the international incubator Hub: raum, Climate-KIC, KIC InnoEnergy, the European Climate Foundation (ECF), as well as a long line of important German industrial associations and organisations from all over the world. Key initiative partners include the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, the KfW Group and Deutsche Welle.

The initiative’s ambassadors include: Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA); Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); Ortwin Renn, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS); Christoph Wolff, Managing Director of the European Climate Foundation; Ewald Woste, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Thüringer Energie AG; Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo, Mexican environmental activist and winner of the UN environmental prize, the Champions of the Earth award; Mohan Munasinghe, former Vice-chair of the IPCC; Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010-2014); Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board; and Felix Zhang, CEO of the Chinese energy company, Envision Energy, and platinum sponsor of the initiative.

About dena

dena is Germany’s centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. It supports the implementation of the energy transition in politics, industry and society. It views the energy system as a whole and promotes energy generation and use as efficiently, safely affordably and as environmentally friendly as possible – both nationally and internationally. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany, the KfW Group, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG.


ACE UK members achieve 100% target for verified traceability of wood fibre

According to the ninth annual Proforest* report on the Chain of Custody (CoC) commitment made in 2007 by Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – 100% of wood fibre purchased globally in 2015 was either FSC certified or FSC controlled wood.

ace uk logoThis means ACE members have met their commitment to source 100% wood fibre that is traceable to fully third party verified legal and acceptable sources by the end of 2015 – and that all ACE members' food and drink carton production sites, and the board mills supplying these sites, are now Chain of Custody certified.

“When we set the target in 2007 we knew it was an ambitious one, so it is great news that the 100% target has been achieved and independently verified”, comments Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK.

“Realising the target set in the original 2007 commitment, which had the support of the WWF European Policy Office, has helped achieve EU and international forest policy objectives to promote sustainable forestry practices, such as the EU’s action plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).”

Responsibly sourced raw materials have a key role to play in supporting a low carbon circular economy. In Sweden and Finland, where most of the wood fibre for European food and drink cartons originates, forests are expanding with growth in forest volume increasing year-on-year as annual growth exceeds cuttings.

“ACE members have a clear interest in ensuring that forests are responsibly managed as, on average, 75% of a food and beverage carton is made from this natural renewable material.

“Traceability is one of our industry’s key strategies in ensuring the responsible sourcing of primary raw materials, which is, in turn, critical to achieving sustainable economic growth. Achieving this target really is an important milestone for the food and drink carton industry”, concluded Hands.

The ninth annual Proforest report on ACE’s Chain of Custody (CoC) commitment can be found here:

* Proforest is an independent verifier of natural resource management.

About the commitment

The commitment of ACE members is two-fold and global. First, the three beverage carton manufacturers, Tetra Pak, Elopak, SIG Combibloc undertake by 2015 to reach 100% wood fibre that is traceable to legal and acceptable sources, using processes that have been independently verified. The scope includes all wood fibres used in mills producing paperboard for the three companies. Second they commit to secure by 2018 chain of custody certification for all their carton manufacturing plants. Within the European Union, 100% of the wood used for the production of beverage cartons already comes from paper mills that have an FSC-certified Chain of Custody in place.

About ACE UK

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK provides a platform for the industry to profile and benchmark cartons as a renewable, recyclable and low-carbon packaging choice, and to drive its environmental initiatives. This includes running the industry’s carton recycling programme.

ACE UK represents Tetra Pak, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, the leading manufacturers of beverage cartons for the UK market. It is also supported by BillerudKorsnäs and Stora Enso, which produce about 98% of the paperboard used by ACE UK members to manufacture beverage cartons in Europe.


Great results from testing UPM’s wood-based diesel in buses

UPM has successfully tested Finnish wood-based diesel fuel both in laboratory conditions as well as in traffic. The tests clearly demonstrated that UPM's renewable diesel, UPM BioVerno, works just like the best diesel fuels.

The laboratory tests of renewable UPM BioVerno diesel were conducted in the VTT Technical Research Centre (VTT) and field tests in Helsinki region bus traffic together with Helsinki Region Transport (HSL). The year-long bus field tests' measurements were done by VTT, and the tests were also supported by Transdev Finland Oy, Volvo and St1. 

The first laboratory tests were done with Euro III Class buses, which are still widely used on Finnish roads even today. UPM BioVerno diesel produced clearly lower emissions than fossil diesel. Compared to other advanced fuels, the emissions of UPM BioVerno diesel were at least as low as theirs.

"The use of UPM BioVerno diesel in the current bus fleet instead of fossil diesel would lower emissions from public transport significantly. This is good news as this Finnish wood-based fuel could immediately – and positively - affect the air quality in the Helsinki region," says Sari Mannonen, Vice President of UPM Biofuels.

UPM BioVerno bus tests HSL bus

UPM BioVerno diesel worked well in year-long bus field tests

The field tests with buses were conducted by Transdev Finland on a regular bus route between the city of Kerava and Helsinki using four identical Volvo Euro VI Class buses that have low emissions and efficient engines. The test runs were done using 20%, 50% and 100% UPM BioVerno diesel and St1 was the fuel logistics provider in the tests.

According to test results, UPM BioVerno diesel is working very well in all blending ratios – just like the best diesel fuels – and fuel consumption was exactly the same. Together the four buses travelled some 400,000 km without any fuel-related incidents.

The Euro VI Class buses are equipped with diesel particulate filters (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts which are capable of reducing emissions to a negligible level, so the tests did not show any significant differences in emissions between various fuels. In Euro VI Class engines the fuel affects the emissions mainly indirectly: high quality fuel, such as UPM BioVerno, guarantees that the exhaust cleaning systems operate effectively even after driving significant mileage.

"We are happy with the test results – they show that UPM BioVerno could fully replace fossil diesel in current bus traffic. Biofuels have a significant role in our company's targets, as we are aiming for carbon-free public transportation in the Helsinki region," says Reijo Mäkinen, head of the Traffic Services department in HSL.

The bus field tests were part of a larger BioPilot project coordinated by VTT. The goal of the project was to encourage companies to commercialise renewable energy solutions in traffic.

"Advanced biofuels are a tested, well-functioning solution and a great opportunity for Finland. They could be our fast track to low emission traffic as they could be taken into use immediately and clearly cut down the emissions," says Research Professor Nils-Olof Nylund from VTT.

HSL and VTT have started the BioSata project, which is a natural continuum for the BioPilot project which has now ended. The new project is proceeding to application phase and its target is to raise the level of biofuels used in HSL bus traffic up to 70-90% before the end of this decade.

Innovative renewable diesel from Finland

UPM's renewable diesel, known as UPM BioVerno, is an innovation that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% and tailpipe emissions significantly when compared with fossil fuels. This high quality biofuel is produced from a residue of the pulp industry, crude tall oil. UPM BioVerno is an ideal fuel for all diesel-powered vehicles.

UPM started the production of wood based renewable diesel in the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery in January 2015. The production capacity of the biorefinery is 120 million litres of renewable diesel annually. UPM BioVerno has been granted a Finnish Key Flag Symbol which can be granted to products that are manufactured in Finland and have a domestic origin degree of over 50%.


Plans to build large waste recycling plant in Minsk Oblast

Plans have been made to build a large waste recycling plant at the border of Smolevichi District and Borisov District. The enterprise will utilize a complete production cycle, BelTA learned from Nikolai Svirsky, Head of the Beautification and Secondary Material Resources Department of the state enterprise Minsk Oblast Utilities.

As much as €65 million in foreign direct investments will be spent on building the waste recycling plant. The enterprise will be built by a German company, which representatives are already busy carrying out the initial work. In particular, work is in progress to allocate a land plot as large as 4-5ha to build the enterprise. The turn-key project will be implemented within 18-24 months. The preparation of all the necessary documents will begin in January 2017.

2016 11 24 234307The future waste recycling plant is supposed to recycle 250,000 tonnes of solid municipal waste per annum. In line with the investment contract Minsk Oblast will supply raw materials to be processed such as automobile tires and scrap plastic that will be used to make granules, bits and pieces. These products will be exported to be used as raw materials for some other manufacturing process. Apart from that, the waste recycling plant will use waste to produce biogas and consequently electricity and heat energy. According to Nikolai Svirsky, electricity will be transferred into the regional power grid. Negotiations are underway to sell heat energy to the Belarusian car factory BelGee. As an alternative the possibility of building greenhouses to grow vegetables is under consideration.

The Zhodino city landfill for stockpiling solid municipal waste also takes some of the waste from Borisov District and Smolevichi District. The company that will implement the investment project to build the waste recycling plant expects that the Zhodino city landfill will be shut down within ten years. Representatives of the investors have come up with a preliminary logistics scheme for delivering waste to the future waste recycling plant. As for how much waste the new facility will be able to get, Borisov District will send about 100,000 tonnes of solid municipal waste per annum, the city of Zhodino will supply 60,000-70,000 tonnes, and Smolevichi District will deliver about 45,000 tonnes. The new enterprise may also take some of the waste from the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone. The Head of the Beautification and Secondary Material Resources Department of the state enterprise Minsk Oblast Utilities specified that waste transshipping stations will be set up in Berezina District, Krupki District, and Logoisk District as part of the logistics chain. The waste recycling plant will use its own trucks to reach the transshipping stations to take away waste.

A government program on collecting and processing secondary raw materials was adopted in Belarus in 2009. Waste recycling plants are being built and separate waste collection practices are encouraged. The measures will allow increasing the extraction of secondary resources from municipal waste.