Energy crops, which can be converted into biomass fuel, can be highly beneficial additions to farmland, a new report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has revealed.
According to the organisation, farmers that introduce energy crops to their holdings can increase the productivity of their land, as well as diversifying their income.
In many cases, it’s possible to plant these crops on land that’s unsuitable for food crops or grazing, allowing farmers to monetise areas that would otherwise not bring them an income. These biomass crops can also complement their existing farming activities.
Hannah Evans, practice manager, Bioenergy – Energy Systems Catapult, said that bioenergy has a “significant and valuable role in the future of the UK energy system”.
She noted that bioenergy can account for up to ten per cent of the country’s projected energy demand in the 2050s. In order to achieve this, approximately three times more bioenergy will need to be delivered than is currently being produced.
“Planting bioenergy crops provides an opportunity for farmers to increase the profitability and productivity of their land whilst also producing biomass feedstock that can help reduce the UK’s GHG emissions,” Ms Evans stated.
Farmers that want to cultivate biomass crops, but don’t have the ability to spend money on expensive equipment, can hire an industrial shredder until they become more established in the sector.
With the government launching its Green Great Britain campaign this week, now could be the ideal opportunity to explore the options available when it comes to cultivating biomass and how to sell this energy product.