Biomass could supply 8–11% of the UK’s total primary energy demand by 2020, with the greatest growth in UK domestic supply expected to come from agricultural residues and energy crops.

A significant area of land the United Kingdom could be used for growing such energy crops, without impinging on food production. However, despite policy support for the sector, uptake of these crops has so far been limited.

This policy note summarises the findings of agent-based modelling research investigating the potential of various policy mechanisms to achieve cost effective carbon abatement in the UK energy crop market.

ClimateXChange researchers presented the cost and potential of carbon abatement from the UK perennial energy crop market at a workshop supported by WholeSEM (Whole System Energy Modelling), a new RCUK funded collaboration between UCL, Surrey, Imperial and Cambridge.

The initiative aims to understand:
– How energy demand co-evolves with changes in practice, supply, and policy
– How the endogenous, uncertain, and path dependent process of technological change will impact future energy systems
– How the energy supply-demand system can be optimised over multiple energy vectors and infrastructures
– What are the major future physical and economic interactions and stresses between the energy system and the broader environment.

Useful links