Meeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the UK is not possible without the use of bioenergy.
That’s the verdict from a new report published by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), which says the sustainable use of bioenergy is vital to the UK meeting its legally-binding Fifth Carbon Budget.
The organisation suggests if deployment rates increase by 250% by 2032, bioenergy could provide an additional 117TWh of heat, transport fuels and electricity.
It adds this would mean it has the potential to fill the Fifth Carbon Budget shortfall projected by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and the gap from various nuclear projects around the UK being cancelled.
The report predicts bioenergy’s contribution to the energy mix could rise from around 5.5% in 2020 to 15% in 2032, as well as creating more than 100,000 new jobs by this date.
The REA says technologies such as modern biomass boilers, biofuels and anaerobic digestion, offer an “immediate and affordable” route to cutting emissions by offering quick and cost-effective solutions for the hard-to-decarbonise heat and transport industries.
It says bioenergy would also play the important role of providing insurance against delays or longer-term problems in deploying other new technical options.
REA CEO Dr Nina Skorupska said: “Increasing the deployment of bioenergy is the only realistic solution to affordably and sustainably bridge the anticipated energy gap and rapidly decarbonise the UK in line with legally binding targets.
“Bioenergy is a no regrets solution to achieving these targets due to its ability to provide immediate and affordable greenhouse gas savings through existing infrastructure whilst facilitating the development and commercialisation of future technologies.”