Bioenergy is an organic based resource that can be grown or collected, including energy crops, wood products, farm by-products and food processing waste.
Encouraging feedback on the draft plan, the Minister said: “The publication of this first cross departmental draft Bioenergy Action Plan sets out how bioenergy can make an increased contribution to a more sustainable energy future in Northern Ireland.
“The successful and sustainable development of bioenergy has the potential to contribute to security of supply, deliver carbon emission reductions, provide business and employment opportunities as well as contributing to the challenging renewable energy targets proposed within the draft Strategic Energy Framework.”
The draft Strategic Energy Framework 2009, which was launched for consultation last month, outlines the key energy goals in terms of competitiveness, security of supply, sustainability and infrastructure.
Arlene Foster continued: “The draft plan sets out actions aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the benefits of bioenergy. It proposes a supportive policy and regulatory framework and targeted investment in key areas of the supply chain, while continuing to undertake focused research and development activities.”
The Minister concluded: “I see many opportunities for Government, businesses and energy users in Northern Ireland flowing from the increased sustainable development and usage of bioenergy. This draft plan sets out proposals to encourage this greater deployment and I would encourage all stakeholders to consider the document and contribute to this consultation process.”
The consultation on the draft Bioenergy Action Plan is scheduled to run until 30 October 2009.