Strong bioenergy support according to UK survey


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

  • 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

business.business.conbio.info/2016-12-07 – There is strong public support for producing bioenergy in the UK from both biomass and waste, with 80 percent 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).

The “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.

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.

Hannah Evans, ETI Bioenergy Strategy Analyst said:

“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.

“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.

“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.”

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 eti projects are at http://www.eti.co.uk/programmes/bioenergy

More information on the results of the YouGov survey, including the “Public Perceptions of Bioenergy in the UK” report can be found at www.eti.co.uk/insights/public-perceptions-of-bioenergy-in-the-uk

 

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

business.conbio.info/2016-12-07/Lennart Ljungblom