Boosting Scotland’s renewables

Consultation on bioenergy.

Views are being sought on proposals for the sustainable use of bioenergy, including growing crops which can be converted into electricity, heat and fuels.

Bioenergy is already a key component of Scotland’s energy system and is produced by using organic material from trees, plants and food waste as a greener source to replace fossil fuels.

A new strategy sets out how bioenergy can be used to reduce emissions, and proposes using some agricultural land specifically to grow crops which can be converted into bioenergy.

Consultation on the strategy opens today and will run for 12 weeks, seeking views on the opportunities and barriers to using biomass for fuel, as well as the possible use of land to grow the perennial energy crops required for domestic production.

Energy Minister Gillian Martin said:

“Bioenergy supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2045. Research shows if 90,000 hectares of these crops were planted, this could deliver an amount of energy equivalent to powering around 1.3 million homes a year.

“Realising this potential can help to deliver a just transition for our energy sector, and develop a self-sufficient and secure supply chain to enable us to generate more of this greener energy.

“It is vitally important that people engage on this consultation and give us their views.”


Bioenergy consultation

Bioenergy is considered carbon neutral when the CO2 released during its life cycle is balanced by CO2 absorption from other trees and vegetation. A sustainably managed biomass supply can maintain this balance - or even be carbon negative where planting exceeds the levels of extraction.

Bioenergy can be used for heat, power, industry and transport, across a diverse range of mature and emerging technologies. When bioenergy is paired with carbon capture and storage technologies it has potential to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere while generating energy. The carbon dioxide could then be permanently stored underground.

Perennial energy crops include short rotation coppice, short rotation forestry and miscanthus. These fast-growing crops can be grown on land that is currently less productive and harvested regularly without the need to re-plant.


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