UK is finally on board. The government led by Theresa May launched last week the National Bioeconomy Strategy “Growing the Bioeconomy. Improving lives and strengthening our economy: A National Bioeconomy strategy to 2030”.
It’s a bad time for the bioenergies companies in UK. Due to the difficult market conditions, CropEnergies will pause production in its plant in Wilton, North East England, operated by Ensus from the end of November 2018 on.
The Vivergo plant has re-opened following a four-month shut-down period following unfavourable trading conditions; in part – according to the British company – “driven by Government inaction on the future of renewable fuels and current market conditions”. It was closed in November and has been conducting maintenance and upgrade work during the closed period.
Over the coming months, it is hoped that conditions will improve as a result of the RTFO being passed through Parliament in March. This will come into effect later this month, increasing the use of renewable fuels in transport from 4.75% to a target of 9.75% by 2020.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. launched a new biomass feedstock improvement process project which aims to show how the removal of impurities and contaminated material from sustainable biomass could make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient, consequently delivering better greenhouse gas savings.
Vivergo Fuels, the UK’s largest producer of bioethanol, is warning that the UK’s bioethanol industry and the thousands of jobs it supports are at risk, unless the Government backtracks on a recent recommendation.
“In 2015 the UK Government published its first report demonstrating how important the bioeconomy is to the UK. They commissioned a second report in 2016, ‘Evidencing the bioeconomy’, which estimated the bioeconomy generated £220bn in Gross Value Added and supported over five million jobs in the UK”. Margaret Smallwood, CEO of BioVale, an innovation cluster supporting development of the bioeconomy in Yorkshire and the Humber, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this exclusive interview she talks about the bioeconomy in UK after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
The British bioeconomy takes a step forward: five established R&D centres across the UK have today announced a new alliance, BioPilotsUK, to position Britain as a global leader in biorefining technology development and bio-based product manufacture, two key elements of the bioeconomy.