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Short rotation energy crops could help meet UKs renewable energy targets

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 11:26 AM
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Short rotation energy crops could help meet UKs renewable energy targets
http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2011/apr/11_34....

News release
Short rotation energy crops could help meet UKs renewable energy targets

Ref: 11/34
01 April 2011
Planting short rotation energy crops on Englands unused agricultural land could produce enough biomass to meet renewable energy targets without disrupting the food industry or the environment, according to research led by Professor Gail Taylor from the University of Southampton.

The study, funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), is a rare investigation into energy crop supply which looks at the potential of planting short rotation coppice (poplar and willow) in England, taking into account social, economic and environmental constraints. It found that with efficient land use, England is able to produce enough biomass to generate approximately four per cent of current UK electricity demand, without compromising environmental sustainability or food production.

UKERC researcher and co-author Gail Taylor, Professor of Plant Biology from the University of Southampton, said: This study shows that bioenergy crops can be grown sustainably in parts of England, with no detrimental impact on food crops or other ecosystem services. Our current work is taking this approach further to determine how future climate scenarios will influence biomass supply.

The UK is committed to meeting 15 per cent of all energy and 30 per cent electricity demand via renewable sources by 2020 and bioenergy is expected to play an important role in this. Dedicated energy crops are currently only responsible for less than 0.1 per cent of the UK electricity but growing demand has led to conflicts with food production, attributing to the rising cost of food, and ecosystem services.

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