SMEs receive £1.3m to spur on bioenergy technology

The Government is encouraging innovation in sustainably sourced bioenergy by providing British companies with £1.3m, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced recently.

Three British companies have been awarded a share of more than £1.3m to incentivise innovation in turning reeds and rushes from wetlands into bioenergy.

AMW IBERS, Natural Synergies and AB Systems were awarded contracts as part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change competition to help entrepreneurs demonstrate new ways of turning plant-based material derived from harvesting wetlands into renewable heat and electricity.

According to DECC, sustainably sourced bioenergy has an important part to play in the UK's future energy mix, with the potential to contribute around 11% of the UK's energy demand by 2020.

The winning companies will use the funding to test their project designs in three wetland areas in the UK, including Somerset, Suffolk and Inverness.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "The ability to turn plant material - that would otherwise have been burned or left to decompose - into a sustainable energy source is an important part of the move towards a low carbon economy.

"I wish the winning organisations every success with their projects. These valuable initiatives will help to bring down the costs of this clean, green technology," he added.