NORTHEAST BIOFUELS (NEB), together with NEPIC, has represented the regional biofuels strategy once again at Cereals 2010, Europe’s largest outdoor arable commodities event. The event, held at Royston in Hertfordshire during early June, saw NEB exhibit for the eighth time.
Cereals offers an ideal opportunity for the team to meet farmers, not only updating them on feedstock requirements for biofuels, but also recruiting farmers to participate in our Grower Network initiative, which concentrates on achieving best-practice in the production of agricultural crops as feedstock for biofuels.
Exhibiting at Cereals is also an ideal opportunity for NEB and the regional strategy for transport biofuels to explain and outline the grant schemes available for the growing of energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) and miscanthus.
The NEB NEPIC stand, housed within the Renewables Area, was visited by both farmers from the North East region and nationally, providing the perfect platform for marketing and selling the North East region as the ideal location to produce renewable energy.
The team, comprising of John Brady, Mark Lewis & John Seymour, were also able to relay to farmers and growers, impartial information on the recently announced Feed-in Tariffs (FIT’s) and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC’s) schemes.
Furthermore, NEB and NEPIC heard how through the implementation of precision farming solutions, the carbon and sustainability issues surrounding feedstocks for biofuels could not only be addressed, but also significantly reduced.
It is envisaged that precision farming solutions would be of great interest to NEB’s Grower Network initiative.
NEPIC, NEB and Industry Leaders meet with Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
On February 18th 2010, NEPIC and NEB together with a strong industry delegation met with Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Our delegation had a 60 minute private discussion at Shotton Hall with the Minister ahead of the Easington Constituency Labour Party Annual Dinner. All delegates were given the opportunity to speak with the Minister directly and this provided an excellent platform for positive discussion. Three key themes resulting from the debate were:
1. Finance - obtaining capital was still proving very difficult especially taking into account the risks associated. Delegates spoke about a potential Government solution that would lower the risk of financing and the possibility of a loan guarantee scheme.
2. The misalignment of the 3 policies - Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), the Renewables Obligation (RO) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). It was felt that no financial mechanism links them together and there needs to be a consistent carbon value.
3. Messaging - there is a need for consistency of message across all sectors - political, industry and general public in order that the positive benefits of biofuels and biorenewable energy be conveyed correctly to all sectors and audiences’.
A number of senior industrialists from existing investor companies in renewable energy together with senior representatives from prospective investors were joined by Centre For Process Innovation (CPI), National Non Food Crops Centre, and local MP’s Dari Taylor (Stockton South) and Iain Wright (Hartlepool). John Brady, NEPIC Senior Biofuels Project Manager who hosted the event, thanked the Minister for his time and valuable contribution and also thanked Dari Taylor who facilitated the private meeting. John commented” it is not often we get an opportunity with a Minister to discuss a wide range of topics with a large group in such a forum. Ed Miliband was both very attentive and approachable to our discussion and agreed to examine in further detail the key themes arising.”
Bioresources Conference November 2009
The 3rd Annual Bioresources Conference took place at The Hilton Hotel in Newcastle on 26th November 2009 and attracted an international audience with over 100 delegates. There was a strong delegation from Brazil and the conference agenda included presentations from Petrobras, UNICA and Embrapa. The Key note speech was delivered by Dari Taylor MP Stockton South.
Royal Show July 2009
NEB gained maximum exposure when sponsoring the ‘Energy Gap’ debate at the 2009 Royal Show. Ex NEB Chairman and current Chairman of the Farmers Club John Reynolds chaired a lively debate. John Seymour, NEB Rural Affairs Spokesman spoke at the event and provided an overview of the biofuels market in the context of market demand for biofuel crops, energy policy and biofuels capacity in the UK. The debate was very well attended including HRH The Duke of Gloucester. Good exposure was gained from exhibiting in both the main debating hall and the Science and Business Block. Visitors to the NEB exhibition stand during the event included Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Lord Davies and HRH The Duke of Kent.
John Reynolds, Dr Angela Karp and John Seymour at the Royal Show.Cereals June 2009
Grower Network Open Day June 2009
The Grower Network Oilseed Rape (OSR) Open Day was held at Eyreholme on 24th June 2009 and was an outstanding success. Over 150 regional growers attended to see for themselves some 400 individual plots using different varieties, cultivations and a range of fungicides. Farmers were very surprised and delighted to see the progress of the trial crops bearing in mind how difficult the establishment was, given the weather conditions last Autumn. Press coverage was gained through the Evening Gazette, and also in attendance were the Farming Press. The event was complimented by having a 100% biofuel powered Audi car (courtesy of the National Farmers Union) and a 100% biodiesel powered Mini Bus (courtesy of Newcastle University) present. A range of exhibitors also attended the event including Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dupont, Farmway, Monsanto and United Oilseeds. Following harvest, the yield and oil content will be measured and the results made public.
Wheat will be incorporated into the Grower Network this coming season to coincide with Ensus bioethanol facility - another new business opportunity for regional agriculture.
Farmers visiting the trial site at Eyreholme.
Grower Network Wheat Open Day
June 23rd 2010, 10:00 - 15:00
Eyreholme, County Durham
Grower Network OSR Open Day
June 30th 2010, 10:00 - 15:00
Cockle Park, Newcastle
FAME 2010 Summit and Exhibition - Defining The Future Biofuels Market
September 13th - 14th 2010
The InterContinental Hotel, Berlin
Power, Process and Policies
September 16th 2010
Bishop Burton College, Beverley
EBEC-European Bioenergy Expo and Conference
October 6th - 7th 2010
Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
Northeast Biofuels are exhibiting at this event - stand A45
Green Supply Chain 2010
November 4th - 5th 2010
The Cedar Court Grand Hotel and Spa, York