MPs probe biofuel potential
Source: FWi 27 February 2003

By Farmers Weekly staff

AN INFLUENTIAL group of MPs is to investigate what measures should be put in place to boost production of biofuel crops.

An inquiry has been announced in the wake of the energy White Paper published by the Department of Trade and Industry on Monday, 24 February.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee plans to look at the extent to which alternative crops are already grown in the UK.

It will also consider the benefits of expanding production and look at ways at which this goal might be achieved.

The cross-party committee will also see what examples there are of are best practice in other countries that the UK could learn from.

The inquiry is likely to be well-received by farm leaders who have accused the government of underplaying the role energy crops could play in the White Paper.

The document gave firm backing for wind and solar power but made scant reference to energy crops such as biomass from farmed willow coppice and biofuel from rapeseed.

Written evidence for the committee has been requested by 28 March and oral hearings will be arranged after that.