An influential group of MPs has expressed concern that the UK is lagging behind other countries in the promotion and use of bioenergy.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has pointed out says that heat derived from biomass could generate significant carbon savings.

In their report on Climate change: the role of bioenergy, MPs urge the government to increase support for biomass to match its current emphasis on biofuels for transport.

The committee also argues that government policy focuses too heavily on renewable electricity at the expense of research into renewable heat.

The committee is also deeply disappointed that the government failed to properly address the issue of biomass heat in its recent Energy Review.

Speaking on publication of the report, the committee’s chairman, Rt Hon Michael Jack MP, said: “For a nation that prides itself on its international leadership role on the climate change agenda, it’s not acceptable for Britain to lag behind so many other countries in the way that it is embracing bioenergy.

“With government a major user of energy in its own right, it must now lead by example and demonstrate to the rest of country the full potential of Britain’s bioenergy industry”.