NNFCC

Training Provision

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Courtesy of NNFCC

To help demonstrate the opportunities for growing energy crops and using farm residues in anaerobic digestion, we ran a series of training days for farmers.

The events sought to address the technical challenges facing growers and the development of the sector, while providing a network for communication between members of the supply chain.

Approach

Working on behalf of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, we organised a programme of eight regional energy crop training days, which attracted some 300 delegates, including landowners and farmers.

Each event was free and examined a wide range of issues relating to energy crop production, including agronomy, market development and end-use.

The East of England Development Agency and the South East England Development Agency als funded NNFCC to run three regional anaerobic digestion workshops for farmers, local authorities, waste handlers and waste generators interested in AD, which welcomed over 150 delegates.

Results

The training days were extremely well received, with over 97 per cent of those who answered our feedback questionnaire describing the training days as good or very good.

The events also highlighted a growing interest in bioenergy, with 85 per cent of respondents saying their future plans included growing energy crops.

In particular our energy crop training day in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, showed there was a local resource of farmers looking to grow energy crops. As a result, Ely power station changed their procurement policy and now actively take Miscanthus as a biomass feedstock.

At 38 MW, Ely is the largest straw-burning power station in the world, generating over 270 GWh each year – enough energy to provide heat and light to 80,000 homes.

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