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Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme

The Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme is a £36 million programme, funded through the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

The Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Programme aims to increase the production of sustainable UK biomass feedstocks.


Under Phase 1 of the programme, 25 projects were awarded a share of £4 million government funding to produce project plans for innovations that, if implemented, would make a positive material contribution to UK feedstock supply.

View successful projects


Under Phase 2 of the programme, 12 projects have been awarded a share of £32 million, taking the innovation projects from the design stage through to the demonstration stage.

View successful projects

Biomass Connect: Biomass Innovation and Information Platform – Multi-site Feedstocks Demonstrator

The Biomass Innovation and Information Platform is a demonstration and knowledge sharing initiative to showcase best practice and innovations in land-based biomass feedstock production.

The project has four primary aims:

Independent information
To provide robust, independent information on biomass feedstock performance, agronomy, economics and environmental benefits to landowners and land managers.
Variations and efficacy
To de-risk new crop adoption by ensuring that geographic variations in the efficacy of biomass feedstocks and relevant innovations are fully evaluated and demonstrated to a broad range of stakeholders across the UK.
To facilitate discussion and learning regarding the biomass sector by enabling the sharing of knowledge, experiences and case studies.
Robust evidence
To contribute to agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy development by contributing robust evidence and facilitating interactions between policy, academia and industry.

Through the platform, the project is building a UK-wide, cohesive, regionally based community who will contribute to the development, establishment and operation of the platform. Building this focal point for the industry will support the ambitious scaling up of both the bioenergy industry itself and the scale of planting which is required to align with the Committee on Climate Change’s modelling for net zero, which anticipates expanding from 10,000 ha to 730,000 ha by 2050.

Hub Sites

The project comprises eight demonstration sites across the four nations of the UK, in Ceredigion, South Ayrshire, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Edinburgh, County Down, Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire.

Each site will grow up to 11 species of short-rotation trees and perennial grasses. These include miscanthus and short-rotation coppice willow, which produce large amounts of biomass (plant material) that can be used in power stations to produce heat or electricity or used in bio-based products.

The project compares how well different crops and varieties grow in regions across the UK and demonstrate innovations which have the potential to maximise their economic and environmental benefits.

Biomass Crops and Cultivation

Biomass crops, sometimes referred to as energy crops, are non-food plants cultivated for the purposes of energy production. They are typically herbaceous or woody plants with very high growth rates, limited requirements for nutrient input or heavily managed cultivation, and which possess a high potential energy content or calorific value.

Plants that possess these characteristics can be used to produce heat, electricity, and transport fuels at low rates of carbon emission, and even carbon neutrality in the right circumstances.

Best practice and innovations in biomass cultivation are showcased through in-person demonstration events at our sites. These activities share knowledge gained among farmers and growers considering planting biomass crops, as well as with government advisers, trade bodies, businesses and biomass end users.

The project provides independent information on biomass feedstock performance, agronomy, economics and environmental benefits to landowners and land managers. With a better understanding of geographic variations in the production of biomass plants and also relevant technical innovations in production methods, the project will encourage new crop production and encourage discussion and learning about the biomass sector.

This sharing of knowledge, experiences and case studies is making a significant contribution to agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy development, practical on-farm development and overall growth in the UK’s biomass sector.

Project partners

This project involves researchers and industry partners from UKCEH, Rothamsted Research, Aberystwyth University, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Crops for Energy, Newcastle University, NIAB and Bio-Global Industries.


An independent, not-for-profit research institute. The UKCEH provide the data and insights that researchers, governments and businesses need to create a productive, resilient and healthy environment.


A world-leading, non-profit research centre that focuses on strategic agricultural science to the benefit of farmers and society worldwide.


Teaching and Research University in Wales, UK.


The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is an arms-length body of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). It is a multi-disciplinary scientific organisation involved in high technology research and development, as well as diagnostic and analytical testing for DAERA, other Government departments, public bodies and the agri-food industry both locally and globally.


Rural College with a mission to be Scotland’s enterprise university at the heart of a sustainable natural economy.


Crops for Energy is one of the UK's leading authorities on energy crops and their use in biomass energy schemes. We provide balanced, authoritative, and independent consultancy support and project management services.


Teaching and Research University in Newcastle, UK.


Waste to Energy


Plant science research company based in Cambridge