The initiative has created a totally new source of income for close to 200 farms in Cumbria and Scotland. It was recently given Rushlight Bioenergy Award. The Rushlight Awards is a set of awards designed specifically to support and promote all the latest clean technologies, innovations, initiatives and deployment projects for businesses and other organisations throughout UK, Ireland and internationally.

Overnight the mill switched its energy supply from fossil natural gas to biomass, and thereby reduced its fossil carbon dioxide emissions by 190,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent to the annual emissions of about 65,000 cars. In conjunction with this move, the idea was born to offer local farmers the opportunity to grow and sell energy crops to Iggesund.

Texte AlternatifThe goal was to bring in 25,000 tonnes of biomass from the farming industry. After five years, it is clear that this goal will be exceeded when all the contracted crops are ready to harvest.

When the project began, DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, had made recommendations that parts of Cumbria have land highly suitable for energy crops. As the project developed, it became evident that the crops also help to counteract the effects of flooding and lead to greater biodiversity.

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