Land Based Renewables

Programme Overview

This programme sought to develop an integrated, quantitative understanding of the consequences of using land for renewable energy production on the resilience of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. This programme had a budget of £2·4 million which included a £350,000 investment from Shell UK.

Background & Objectives

The EU requirement was for the UK to meet 15% of its final energy demand from renewable resources so there was an urgent need to understand the environmental implications of this requirement.

The goal was to develop an integrated, quantitative understanding of the consequences of using land for renewable energy production on the resilience of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Outcomes:

Two consortium grants and one standard grant were awarded as follows:

Impact of spatio-climatic variability on environment-hosted land based renewables: microclimates - Principal investigator: Stephen Mobbs, University of Leeds.
This project used newly emerging techniques of very high resolution nested numerical modelling, taken from the field of numerical weather prediction, to develop a micro-climate model which would make climate predictions locally down to scales of less than 1km.
Investment: £1·1 million

Understanding processes determining soil carbon balances under perennial bioenergy crops CARBO-BIOCROP - Principal investigator: Gail Taylor, University of Southampton.
The overarching aim of this project was to provide improved understanding of fundamental soil processes resulting from changes of soil carbon stocks and pools as a result of land conversion from arable/grassland to land based renewables.
Investment: £950,000

Energyscapes and ecosystem services - Principal investigator: David Howard, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster.
This project aimed to determine how an understanding of ecosystem services and the energyscape could help guide the deployment of land based renewables.
Investment: £350,000

Details of the funded grants are shown in our online grants browser - Grants on the Web:
Land based renewables - external link