Biomass in United Kingdom

In 2008, the United Kingdom had a total of 3.8 million tonnes of municipal solid waste* available, with an electricity generating capacity of 375 900 kW and a total electricity generation of 7 061 TJ. The direct use of the waste from combustion for energy was 2 108 TJ, and the total energy production was therefore 9 169 TJ.

1.4 million tonnes of wood and forestry/wood processing materials were available, and the direct use from combustion was 19 151 TJ. Agricultural residues** (1.1 million tonnes) had a generating capacity for electricity of 114 403 kW, and the electricity generation was 2 113 TJ; the direct use from combustion reached 1 776 TJ while the total energy production was 3 890 TJ.

Other agricultural residues*** (1.0 million tonnes) had an electricity generating capacity of 193 257 kW, a total generation of 2 045 TJ, a direct use from combustion total of 5 338 TJ, and a total energy production of 7 383 TJ. 

1 645 TJ of ethanol and 10 656 TJ of biodiesel were produced****, leading to a total liquid biofuel energy production of 12 301 TJ.

Biomass was also co-fired with fossil fuels*****, with a total of 1.4 million tonnes of material available at a capacity of around 340 000 kW; the electricity generated was 5 806 TJ.

* Including non-biodegradable wastes, which account for about 37.5% of the total.

** Includes poultry litter, meat and bone and farm waste.

*** Includes straw, short rotation coppice crops and other plantbased biomass.

**** In 2008 approximately two-thirds of biodiesel and bioethanol was from imported sources.

***** In 2008, of the 1.4 million tonnes of biomass used for cofiring, 1.05 million was imported and 0.35 was home produced.