£2bn biomass power plans in doubt

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Biomass is a generic term which covers the huge range of organic, plant-based materials which are burnt to create useful heat and power.

Typically, residues from farming are used such as oak husks, straw and cocoa shells, or off-cuts from forestry.

So-called ‘energy crops’ – plants grown specifically to be burnt – such as miscanthus are also used. Some activists fear an expansion in the production of energy crops could lead to global food shortages and deforestation.