A bioenergy resource assessment for the south west of England

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Bioenergy will need to play a significant role in the future of Europe's energy provision in order to maintain energy security and sustainability. In this context, a regional assessment of biomass availability for energy use has been carried out for the south west region of England. Current bioenergy production, the maximum present resource availability and the maximum available future feedstock (at around 2020) in the region have been evaluated on the basis of a resource flow analysis. Extensive agricultural land (over 80% of the total land cover) and optimum climatic conditions of the region make it favourable for bioenergy feedstock development. Nevertheless, the slow uptake of bioenergy technologies has resulted in only modest feedstock growth and supply. Bioenergy production in the region at present is comparatively low at around 1300 GWh (approximately 4·32 PJ) of primary energy, with a significant portion of this resource being recovered from waste. It is therefore argued that a shift towards the use of perennial crops is desirable, along with increased farm-waste energy recovery. The regional bioenergy potential by around 2020 is estimated to be 5500–13 800 GWh (20–50 PJ) of primary energy, which would provide 4–9% of the region's primary energy consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • recycling & reuse of materials
  • waste management & disposal
  • energy


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