The aim of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is to bring together industry, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the research and knowledge challenges that arise with increasing the contribution of UK bioenergy to meet environmental targets.
The first annual meeting of the Hub was held yesterday (19 November) in Leeds. Dr Patricia Thornley, Director, opened the meeting with an overview of the factors that have to be considered when assessing the greenhouse gas balances of bioenergy systems. The Supergen Bioenergy Hub has just published an accessible report on the topic ‘Understanding Greenhouse Gas Balances of Bioenergy Systems’ (September 2013) which can be downloaded from the website www.supergen-bioenergy.net.
Robert Matthews (Forest Research) followed with a discussion on the GHG balances of forestry systems, which was particularly relevant for cofiring. Nilay Shah (Imperial College) presented a model to show the potential production of bioenergy in the UK. However, for cofiring and conversion of coal-fired units to biomass the UK will rely on imports.
Looking to the future, presentations covered biomass gasification prospects for the UK, an assessment of the potential of algal bioenergy and that of biochar for carbon storage. Ian Shield (Rothamsted Research) compared various ways of harvesting and storing biomass from Miscanthus and short rotation coppice. Tony Bridgwater (Aston University) gave his opinion on how biofuel technologies may develop in the future and the different products that may develop.
More information is available at www.supergen-bioenergy.net
The meeting closed with a reminder about the International Bioenergy Conference on 11-13 March 2014 in Manchester. Abstracts for this event can be submitted until 30 November.