A SCHEME to encourage UK farmers to grow their own biomass was launched at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Energy crop specialist Terravesta is offering guaranteed returns and secure heat prices for the next ten years.

The Grower Fuel Loop (GFL) scheme allows Miscanthus growers to meet their own on-farm heat requirements sustainably and cost-effectively by burning the energy crop in pellet form.

Through the GFL, any farmer with a Terravesta growing contract can buy back Miscanthus as heat from up to 50pc of their planted area.

The 6mm, 100pc Miscanthus pellets, have a net calorific value of 4,444KWh/tonne, and are supplied at a heavily discounted price on a separate energy supply contract. They can be burned on site using a biomass boiler.

William Cracroft-Eley, Miscanthus grower and Terravesta chairman, has used his own successful experience of growing and burning Miscanthus to develop the Grower Fuel Loop. He said: “The scheme gives UK farmers an unprecedented opportunity to profit not only from the best-ever returns of growing Miscanthus, but to reap the benefits of a truly homegrown, futureproof heat source.

“In a volatile energy market with soaring prices, farmers with substantial heat requirements, be these on-farm, domestic or for a separate commercial enterprise, are under increasing pressure.

“Sourcing Miscanthus pellets through the GFL provides them with a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective alternative to oil and solid fuel – all through a long-term, index-linked energy supply contract.

“This means contracted growers can rest assured that their biomass supply is backed by fixed pricing and real energy security for a whole decade.” The GFL is available from the first day of planting and by incorporating biomass into their energy mix, growers could also be rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint through payments under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Mr Cracroft-Eley said: “Across the UK there is potential for a massive 350,000ha of suitable planting land, which would produce around five million tonnes of Miscanthus.

A yield of this size could generate enough sustainable energy to meet 24pc of the heat demand currently being fulfilled using oil and solid fuel in the UK.”

For further details on the GFL or Miscanthus contact Terravesta on 01522 731873 or visit terravesta.com.

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