CLIMATE CHANGE, dwindling reserves of fossil fuels and the need to develop a sustainable energy policy are all driving the establishment of the UK‘s biofuel industry.

Peter Clery, chairman of the British Association of Biofuels and Oils, told a packed Farmer Forum debate at Smithfield Show that “the industry is here and now with markets that are potentially infinite”.

But he added that the industry needed a show of support from the government before a stand alone industry could be established that could process oilseed rape into biodiesel.

“We‘ve had some very encouraging announcements from government over the last seven years but as yet it has been unwilling to commit any funds,” he said.

“It‘s now about time it willed the means.”

Although speakers concentrated on the potential for biofuels from agricultural crops, the possibility of using waste was also raised.

Melyvn Askew, head of agricultural and rural strategy at the Central Science Laboratory, talked up the role new technologies could play in waste recycling.

“Within ten years we‘ll be making petrol from newspapers and the two million chicken heads that go into landfill each month will also be used to manufacture the fuel,” he said.