UK government publishes bioeconomy strategy for 2018-2030

By Erin Voegele | December 05, 2018

On Dec. 5, the U.K. government published a national bioeconomy strategy for 2018 through 2030. The U.K. Renewable Energy Association has spoken out in support of the strategy, noting it endorses the use of biobased resources as fundamental to the nation’s goals for decarbonization and economic growth.   

According to the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the U.K. bioeconmy is currently worth approximately £220 billion ($280.15 billion) and supports 5.2 million jobs.

The new strategy has four main goals. First, it aims to maximize productivity and potential from existing U.S. bioeconomy assets. Second, it aims to create the right societal and market conditions to allow novel biobased products and services to thrive. Third, it aims to capitalize on the U.K.’s world class research, development and innovation base to grow the bioeconomy. Finally, the strategy set a goal to deliver real, measurable benefits for the U.K. economy.

The U.K. REA has spoken out in support of the strategy, but stressed the government must take action to meet the goals it contains.

 “The Bioeconomy Strategy makes clear that utilizing our bio-resources efficiently and sustainably is central to both decarbonization and a vibrant future economy,” said Mark Sommerfeld, policy manager at the REA. “One that delivers regional growth, greater productivity and thousands of jobs based around innovative technologies, many of which are being delivered today by the bioenergy sector.

“Central to this is utilizing the U.K.’s supply of bioenergy feedstocks to deliver a complete range of renewable energy products that will decarbonize the U.K.’s heat, power and transport requirements,” he said.

“Government must now act on these ambitions,” Sommerfeld continued. “Today’s strategy highlights the need for effective policies to make better use of our food waste, our residual waste streams and other sources of sustainable biomass to create a complete range of renewable energy products.”

A full copy of the “Bioeconomy Strategy: 2018 to 2030” can be downloaded from the BEIS website.