The UK could meet 10% of its energy demand using sustainable bionergy, but the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warns that the use of bioenergy is still controversial.
The CCC believes bioenergy could supply 10% of total energy in the UK by 2050, but that a higher share is unlikely without compromising sustainability.
"The extent to which bioenergy should contribute to economy decarbonisation is highly controversial," says CCC Chief Executive David Kennedy.
"Our analysis shows that there is a crucial role for bioenergy in meeting carbon budgets, but within strict sustainability limits – and trade-offs with wider environmental and social objectives may be needed."
He continues: "Strengthening of regulatory arrangements is required both here and in Europe to provide confidence that bioenergy use over the next decade is sustainable."
He goes on to say that carbon capture and storage (CCS) "should be demonstrated and demonstration projects commenced given the crucial role of this technology when used with bioenergy to meet carbon budgets.
"The Government should change its approach to supporting new biomass power generation, which as proposed could raise costs with limited carbon benefits."