Field visit and workshop
Somerset, 28th July 2016
This event was organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network in partnership with the RSPB. It was part-funded by the Natural Environment Research Council as part of a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship held by Bruce Howard.
Introduction to Energy for Nature
Bioenergy is renewable energy made available from materials derived from ecological sources, particularly plant material (i.e. biomass). Schemes that deliver genuine reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are likely to have an important role in meeting UK carbon emissions objectives. Schemes that convert ‘biomass into bioenergy’ make use of underutilised plant materials; as well as potentially providing a variety of additional benefits. These include:
- A use for material that would otherwise be difficult or expensive to dispose of;
- A source of renewable energy from rural landscapes for rural communities; and
- A funding stream that supports conservation work and enhancement of the valuable services provided by land managed for nature.
The Energy for Nature project led by the RSPB and funded by Defra set out to show how biomass producers (such as RSPB, Natural England and local farmers) can be linked to the buyers of bioenergy products (such as local communities and the National Grid). This can generate a funding stream that supports environmentally sensitive land management. The Energy for Nature project was a Defra payment for ecosystem service (PES) pilot. It ran for 12 months and concluded in March 2015.
- Introduction to payments for ecosystem services. Bruce Howard (EKN) and Chris Sherrington (Eunomia)
- Introduction to Energy for Nature Concept. Sally Mills (RSPB)
- Findings from the Energy for Nature pilot. Lynne Osgathorpe and Sally Mills (RSPB)
- The Community Model. Robin Mewes, Community Power Ltd.
Reports and other resources
- Wetland Conservation Biomass to Bioenergy End User Report, produced by Sally Mills (RSPB), July 2016.
- Dry Conservation Biomass to Bioenergy Report, produced by Sally Mills (RSPB), May 2015 (large file download - 20MB).
- Mutual Societies Information Note (in support of the presentation by Robin Mews)
- Ecosystems Knowledge Network main webpage on payments for ecosystem services.
- Ecosystems Knowledge Network webpages on other payments for ecosystem service pilot projects supported by Defra.