Grants of up to £200,000 each are being offered by DEFRA for farmers and foresters to invest in biomass production.
The Bio-energy Infrastructure Scheme is designed to help those supplying fuel for use in heat and electricity generation in England.
“We have to rethink our energy mix,” said environment minister Phil Woolas. “We know biomass has the potential to considerably reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and cut our carbon emissions.
“UK producers are setting the standard and have shown production can be sustainable and our investment will support their commitment to this emerging industry.”
The scheme is open to producer groups and businesses, with grants available up to a maximum of £200,000.
All projects must be based in England and must supply the biomass to end-users in Great Britain.
The funds can be used to help with administrative set-up costs for producer groups, including office space and equipment, staff costs, overheads and legal and administrative fees.
Grant money can also be made to pay for specialist capital items such as dryers, chippers, pelleters, moisture readers and handling equipment.
The deadline for applications is 5 August 2008 for businesses and 5 September 2008 for producer groups.
At present, biomass provides 3.5% of UK electricity and 0.6% of heat demand.
Biomass could potentially supply 6% of UK electricity by 2020. Demand for renewable heat could also potentially increase to about 6% by 2020.
* To receive an application form , phone 01355 593800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Miscanthus is one of several crops that are eligible for grant aid