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Government opens £2M bioenergy fund

The government yesterday started a £2M fund aimed at encouraging innovation in bioenergy production in wetlands.

The new fund is part of government plans to raise the contribution of sustainable bioenergy. Its 2012 bioenergy strategy said the technology could meet between 8% and 11% of the UK’s total primary energy demand by 2020.

However, more research is needed in development and demonstration projects to drive forward innovation and improve efficiency, from methods used to harvest plants for energy production, to power generation systems.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change is running the three phase scheme with applications due in by 14 November.

The scheme

Phase 1 Applicants can apply up to £50,000 to pre-commercial design ideas off the drawing board.

Phase 2 Applicants awarded money under phase 1 will need to produce a report on their ideas and analysis which will be assessed by a panel of experts. Organisations with successful designs will be invited to continue to develop their proposals at phase 2 and can bid for up to £1M to get trials of their chosen project idea up and running on the ground.

Phase 3 At the end of phase 2 organisations will need to produce a report on the outcome of their trials. The reports will then be judged by a panel of experts who will decide which projects to support through to a third phase. Successful organisations can apply for further money at this stage to improve their designs and carry out further trials following the initial testing.

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