The willingness of farmers to engage with bioenergy and woody biomass production: A regional case study from Cumbria

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Journal Article
Energy Policy, 2012, 40 (1), pp. 293 - 300
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In this paper we explore the willingness of Cumbrian farmers to switch land use from food production to biomass production in a landscape where food production is both heavily subsidised and the area is a centre for tourism. This is against a policy background of a switch of subsidies from food production to environmental benefits, increased concerns about emissions from farming and an increased demand for renewable energy. We identified an awareness of new markets for renewable energy, alongside increasing volatility of other crops (against a background of increasing demand for food). From this, our conclusions are that the main short-term opportunities for increasing biomass production in this region are through intensifying management of existing woodlands. In the medium term, as the financial case for biomass crops becomes more certain, we can envisage a 'tipping point' which would favour a switch from marginal agricultural land to biomass. © 2011.
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