Biomass for UK energy

Biomass can be used to produce bioenergy in the form of electricity, heat, biogas or transport fuels, or to produce materials and chemicals. The Climate Change Committee recommend dedicated energy crops and forest residues as future sources of domestic biomass. This POSTnote summarises the opportunities and challenges surrounding the expansion of UK biomass production.

Biomass for UK energy

Longer duration energy storage

The UK’s energy system relies on the storage of fossil fuels to manage variations in supply and demand over varying timescales. As these are replaced to meet the net zero emissions target, new types of low-carbon, longer duration energy storage will be needed to provide secure energy supplies. This POSTnote examines different low-carbon storage technologies, their role in addressing future system needs, issues relating to scaling-up the technologies and Government strategy.

Longer duration energy storage
  • POSTbrief

    Genome edited animals

    Genome editing, also known as gene editing, encompasses a broad range of techniques that allows targeted changes in the DNA of animals (and plants). The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill 2022 -2023, due for Second Reading in the House of Lords on 21 November 2022, intends to change the regulatory definition of certain genome-edited animals. https://doi.org/10.58248/PB50

  • POSTnote

    Climate change and security

    Climate change is creating complex risks for societies, with globalisation increasing dependencies and interconnectedness between nations. This POSTnote sets out the potential security implications of climate change, arising from both its impacts on human systems and the ‘transition risks’ from climate change mitigation measures. It also describes the tools and approaches that could be used to manage the risks and opportunities arising.

  • POSTnote

    Climate adaptation for nature

    The UK Government has committed to halting the long-term decline of species abundance and protecting 30% of land and sea by 2030. Achieving this will require consideration of the impacts of climate change on wildlife and their ecosystems. This POSTnote summarises options to allow nature to adapt to a changing climate and ensure the long-term effectiveness of conservation strategies.

  • POSTbrief

    Restoration and creation of semi-natural habitats

    This POSTbrief describes approaches to and challenges of restoring different semi-natural habitat types in England including native woodlands, heathlands, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal habitats. This brief complements POSTnote 67X, which focuses on terrestrial habitats and their restoration for the wider habitats target in England. Terrestrial habitats are usually described as including freshwater and coastal habitat types.

  • POSTnote

    The habitat restoration target

    Changes in land use and management have destroyed, degraded, and fragmented habitats. This has driven the majority of declines in wildlife over the last century in England. Restoring habitats will deliver nature recovery. This POSTnote focuses on restoration of terrestrial habitats for the wider habitats target in England.

  • POSTnote

    Invasive non-native species

    Research suggests that the threat from invasive non-native species (INNS) is growing. Biological invasions by INNS harm native species and habitats and can have economic impacts. Biosecurity measures can be adopted to prevent the introduction and spread of INNS. This POSTnote summarises the drivers and impacts of INNS and the measures needed to meet national and international environmental targets.

  • POSTnote

    Green steel

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the iron and steel industry make up 14% of industrial emissions in the UK. Decarbonisation of the steel industry is needed if the UK is to meet its target of net zero GHG emissions by 2050. This POSTnote outlines current steelmaking processes in the UK, the technologies and measures that can be used to reduce CO2 emissions, and the supporting infrastructure and policies that could enable a ‘green steel’ industry in the UK.

  • POSTbrief

    Geothermal energy

    Geothermal energy is a source of low-carbon, homegrown, renewable energy. It is available throughout the UK and can provide heat or power all year long independent of weather conditions. It currently delivers less than 0.3% of the UK’s annual heat demand, using only a fraction of the estimated available geothermal heat resource. There is the potential to increase this proportion significantly, but this will require long-term government support to develop a route to market and overcome high upfront capital costs and geological development risks.

  • POSTnote

    Reducing peatland emissions

    Peat soils store greenhouse gases for millennia if they stay waterlogged. However, an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are released from peat soils due to their modification by humans. Reducing these emissions will help meet climate targets, with objectives to achieve this set out in action plans by the governments of the UK. This POSTnote describes the pressures on peat soils and summarises the challenges for reducing emissions from English peatlands.

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