The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced today that the UK will partner up with seven other EU countries as part of the ERA-NET Plus BESTF scheme worth approximately €47m (£38.3) in public money.

Bioenergy is attractive to the Government because it can be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuel and can provide a continuous and constant flow of energy.

The other countries involved are Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Portugal.

Energy Minister John Hayes claimed that bioenergy will have an important role to play in the UK’s energy mix, helping cut carbon as well as supporting jobs and spurring on economic growth.

“Britain has been the global engine room of innovation for centuries. I want to see that rich tradition continue in the energy sector.

“This scheme will help businesses develop a range of different innovative projects by combining public and private sector investment to make the most of this exciting technology,” he said.

DECC will provide the scheme with £6m over the next two to three years and the rest of the funding will be put up by the Technology Strategy Board and the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Organisations will be invited to put forward proposals for innovative projects in early 2013, with grants expected to be made in early 2014.

Conor McGlone

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