2 April 1999

Bio-power bright

GOVERNMENT commitment to renewable energy could mean up to 100 biomass-fuelled power stations by 2010, requiring up to 150,000ha (375,000 acres)of biomass and short-rotation coppice to supply them.

That was the message Silvan Robinson of British Biofuels had for a conference organised by Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission, last week.

To build up knowledge and confidence in the new crop work on 49 trial sites across the UK will continue for a further four years, said Henry Brown, head of MAFFs Alternative Crops Unit.

But long-term changes in climate also need considering. With a 15-year crop life there is a fear that eastern sites could become too dry, making plantings and power stations in the north and west more appropriate, it was felt. &#42