DEFRA report on Bioenergy crops in England and the UK 2008-2023

02 July 2024

A recent government report on UK bioenergy crops (covering 2008 to 2023) provides detailed insight into trends and developments in this sector. Key findings indicate that in 2023 the UK grew 133,000 hectares (equivalent to 2.2% UK arable land) of crops used for bioenergy. Of these, 11% were dedicated biomass crops (Miscanthus and SRC willow), the remainder were annual food crops (wheat, maize, and sugar beet).  Of the total grown, 36% were used for road transport fuels (134 million litres of fuel were generated from wheat crops). This figure has doubled since 2018.

Figures for Miscanthus and SRC willow (data are from England only) show that the number of growers (of both crops) peaked at 1072 in 2018, and although the total numbers of growers fell by 18%, the total area grown has increased by a quarter, with the estimated production 114,000 and 30,000 oven dried tonnes of Miscanthus and SRC willow, respectively, in 2023.

Around 38% of the Miscanthus was used in UK power stations (as bales), whereas the tonnage of SRC willow used for this purpose has fallen considerably as in 2022/23 it was approximately 125 tonnes.

For further details and to access the full report, you can visit the official GOV.UK website

Agricultural area used for bioenergy crops 2017–2023 (thousand hectares)

Agricultural area used for bioenergy crops 2017–2023 (thousand hectares)


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