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E4tech is proud to be leading the business feasibility, market, and risk evaluation for the new EU-funded research project Bio4Products. The project, led by BTG Biomass Technology Group, aims to replace 30% of the fossil resources used in the manufacture of four end products with renewable materials. This will create truly sustainable value chains demonstrating a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. BTG will use fast pyrolysis to produce a flexible bio-oil in a matter of seconds. This pyrolysis oil will then be separated into fractions for the production of roofing material, modified wood, and resins (phenolic and sand moulding).

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has published the results of three case studies which show how farmers can diversify their income under secure long-term contracts, and increase the productivity of their land, by planting perennial energy crops such as Miscanthus and Short Rotation Coppice willow. This work was led by ADAS in collaboration with E4tech during 2015-2016, building on E4tech’s previous work on energy crop business models for the ETI under their ‘Enabling UK Biomass’ programme.

Solar energy innovation could make a valuable contribution to the UK economy, especially in key areas such as advanced concepts, building applications and component technologies, according to a new report supported by E4tech. Although the UK is unlikely to lead development and deployment of globally dominant crystalline PV or solar thermal technologies, there are aspects such as advanced coatings that the UK could help to improve. However, the UK excels in R&D of advanced PV concepts such as polymer-based PV, offering longer term opportunities.

The latest edition of “La France Agricole”, a French weekly magazine discusses the slowdown in sales of biodiesel in France. E4tech Managing consultant Sébastien Haye, who is featured in the article, points out some of the threats to the EU rapeseed biodiesel sector due to the policy cap on conventional biofuels and competition with biodiesel based on waste oil and palm oil from Asia. The article (in French) is available from this link with the kind permission of La France Agricole.

Energy storage is often cited as one of the keys to integrating large shares of renewables into the energy system. But its specific characteristics, and its possible role in linking different sectors of the energy system pose challenges to policy makers. E4tech was commissioned by IEA-RETD to identify the most important aspects of this challenge and articulate approaches to meet it. The report describes the system approach required; the influence of the legacy system; the difficulty in specifying storage ‘performance’ and the privileged position of the system operators.

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